Wednesday, October 03, 2007

World In A Blink

  Play this post
In his book, Gladwell talks about the power of thinking without thinking. Actually, this very sentence is written on the cover of the book.

Here's what Gladwell says about the book on his website -

It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, "Blink" is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.

But that's not what this post is about. It's about Zeitgeist, Google's monthly list of 'Search patterns, trends and surprises'. To get a true blink view, I'll just cover the most popular query by country. To view the entire world list, please visit this link, or this link for US specific trends.

People in Afghanistan searched for Afghanistan and Kabul (their capital). With a 2% internet penetration rate and half-a-million subscribers (source), I'm not surprised. Maybe they wanted 'before and after' maps as well!

Argentinians searched for Football and Australians for Kelly Brook and Marilyn Monroe. Again, not surprising. China, the manufacturing behemoth, searched for Carrefour (and not Walmart, donno why). Costa Rica searched for Mathematics and the Czech Republic for 'Love'. Germany and Greece searched for Boom chicka wah wah and Reggae, respectively.

Hong Kong searches for an Indian actor while Iraq searches for Army Knowledge Online (is this dangerous?), Israel for 'Wooden Floors' and Pakistan for the SAT exam. In a way, you can predict the behavior and motivation of people just from what they are looking for. Poland searches for Swimming pools and Puerto Rico for 'Joy' and Russia for Carpets (approaching winters?). Singapore searches for Movie halls, movies and Investment advice. South Africa is looking at electronics, and Vietnam at Che Guevara.

Given all of this, it's not surprising that people in America are looking for Another Universe. We sure live in interesting times eh? Let others know what you think about these trends in the comments.

No comments: