Saturday, November 8, 2008

seasonal searching

I spent some time last night with google trends, if you haven't played with it go check it out, there's a lot of data to mine.
I was interested in the seasonality of searches, here's the graph for "planting"

and here's the result 5 months later.... "canning"

some are less clear, for example "trees" had an obvious spike around christmas, but a more mysterious bump around may, perhaps arbor day?

The predictability of internet search terms is sort of astounding and i like how the massiveness of the data creates a sort of cultural consciousness repository. sometimes i bemoan how our modern culture is disconnected from the cycles & seasons of our planet, but in reality those connections are still there as revealed by trends. i think more than anything the source of seasonal information has changed. rather than ask my neighbor how to make pickles, i google it. the other piece of valuable information here is the news volume graph which may point to longer term trends and the popularization of concepts. if you notice on the above canning graphs, news volume has steadily increased for four years. is this a sign of a renewed cultural interest in reviving the domestic skillset so helpful for sustainable living?

others are just beautiful, here's "snow"

and of course more people than ever are searching for happiness on the web

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