What’s Up With That

Time for another look at the world’s preoccupations as revealed by Google Trends.

Can anyone explain this to me: Yesterday’s top search was for “Edie Brickell”. I know why she’s topping the chart (something she hasn’t done since last year’s collaboration with Steve Martin hit number one on the bluegrass charts, by the way). That’s the result of her court appearance with husband Paul Simon. My question is why everyone is searching for her. Poor Paul failed to crack the top searches list and is relegated to “Related searches”.

That does seem to be typical–women draw more search interest than men. Another example: yesterday’s number three search was “On the Run Tour”, for a concert tour by Jay Z and Beyonce. Today’s number one search is for Beyonce herself. Jay Z didn’t even make the list as “related”.

The number two search yesterday, for what it’s worth, was “Arkansas tornado”. Today’s number two is “Firefox”. Clearly that second slot is reserved for disasters. No, I’m not suggesting that the new UI introduced in today’s Firefox release is a disaster–I haven’t seen it myself yet, so I’ll reserve my opinion for now. I suspect a large part of Firefox’s sudden popularity is the result of the massive publicity blitz warning people away from Internet Explorer. Changing browsers takes a much smaller investment of time and energy than changing operating systems. We may never see the end of XP, but maybe we can eradicate IE in our lifetimes.

Short attention span theatre: Racist remarks by LA Clipper’s owner Donald Sterling nailed the number one slot in Sunday’s search list, outscoring the runner-up by a score of two to one. (Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the runner up was Chicago’s hockey team, the “Blackhawks”?) By yesterday, though, the public had had their fill of Mr. Sterling’s opinions about race relations. He didn’t even make the list, beaten out by such thrillers as “Cinco de Mayo” (#16), “AAPL” (#11), and “Problem Ariana Grande” (#4). Apparently people are trying to figure out whether selling their stock will let them buy some new music to listen to while getting drunk Monday.

For the record (no pun intended), “Problem” is the title of Ms. Grande’s single. As far as I can tell, she is not in any trouble personally, professionally, or legally. Which may make her unique in the top searches list. Aside from the aforementioned Edie Brickell, we’ve got “Craig Ferguson” (quitting his job), “Dani Alves” (subject of racist abuse and hurled bananas), “Jack Ramsay” and “DJ EZ Rock” (died), “Tori Spelling” and “Amy Purdy” (hospitalized), and “Michael Grimm” (arrested and charged with 20 counts of fraud). Congratulations to Ms. Grande.

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