After those last few posts, here's something mellower and more fun, Google's Year End Zeigtgeist which is a summary of sorts of popular searches throughout the year.
The graphic above follows the popularity of Las Ketchup as it circled the globe. Note the peak just before the three months of summer here in Spain? That's the effect of the "songs of Summer" where on the first day of the season, all the "chosen" songs are launched all over the radio and television and last for 3 months and then disappear in September, rarely to be heard again. They are chosen not by popularity, but by some back-room cabal which decides the "popular" music well before they ever hit the airwaves, preparing dances and commercials, etc. Every once in a while a song breaks out and is popular outside of Spain (remember La Macarena?) but in general, it's all a home-brewed manipulation of the populace here... but they don't seem to care, so I try not to let it bother me. (GRRRR!).
See that big yellow German spike near the end of the year, starting in September? That's probably when all the Germans go home from their summer vacations on the beaches here in Spain and tell all their pals back home about this cool Spanish song they heard... I saw a video recently of the German Chancelor singing a version of the song before the elections.
Other interesting notes, like the fact that David Beckham was the top athlete searched for shows either Britain's insane fascination with The Beckhams, or the popularity of the Internet globally...
And I wonder what the hell 2ch actually is... it's the top query in Japan (just beating out "wallpaper" it seems ;-) ) but after checking the web there doesn't seem to be anything in English to tell me what it is. Very amusing.
On 2ch anyone can start a thread and anyone can post as anyone. About 90% is noise, but there are occasionally interesting things. One of the interesting effects is that the threads about companies often end up being flooded by posts from insiders arguing with each other. Some companies take this very seriously and try to stop it, but obviously this usually just aggravates the situation.
That helps a lot! Thanks Kame! -R