Yesterday Google released its “Zeitgeist 2008” report, a supposed picture of global Internet interests — at least via one monolithic search engine. The news isn’t all that surprising: Sarah Palin was more searched for worldwide than Obama; and lots of tweens use the Web, as the high profile given the Jonas Brothers would attest.
In an “About New York” column in yesterday’s paper, Jim Dwyer reported that Google had released a more specific top 10 list for New York City searches:
It turns out that New Yorkers are looking for something a bit
different. On a list of the 10 subjects that posted the greatest
increases this year, the country as a whole was looking for Fox News
and information about David Cook, the “American Idol” champion.
Neither made the New York list. Then again, the national list did not have 2 of the city’s top 10: Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus architecture school, and the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile circular underground tunnel in Switzerland that was built to smash protons into each other at 99.999999 percent of the speed of light.
doubt someone out in cyberspace can explain the surge of interest this
year in Gropius, who has been dead since 1969 and has only one
structure of any note in the city, the former Pan Am building.
collider is easier to understand. There were worries that the crash of
protons would instantly create a black hole, but in good news that was
widely overlooked at the time, no hole appeared — or is it disappeared?
— on Sept. 10, the day the machine was turned on. Search-engine
interest in the collider promptly dropped off, as people pointed their
anxieties and inquiries toward “Wall Street.” (The collider is
currently on the fritz, as is Wall Street.)
What someone out in cyberspace hasn’t provided, though, are the other eight items on the NYC top ten list. Such results aren’t to be found on the official site. Nor do they pop up when I try any other number of Google searches to find them. All we know is that they aren’t Fox or Idol. (And I have a hunch that the Hadron Collider’s popularity on NY Web searches has to do with the fact that the scare went viral among city public school science classes: both my kids came home talking about it in worried tones. Good thing the Jonas Brothers were there to allay their fears.)
The Times‘s City Room blog also reported on the NYCentric results, but only by incestuously citing the Dwyer article. Nothing new fit to print on line, apparently.
Any guesses what the other items would be? And any idea how we can get the rest of that list? Dwyer didn’t respond to email I sent him yesterday.