Using Google to Predict the Future

Elegantly simple proposal to measure economic confidence in The Economist’s search for other quirky indicators: searches in the U.S. on Google for “gold price” in the piece Alternative indicators: Behind the bald figures But the hottest tip came from Edward Ritchie, an investment analyst in London. He tracks Google searches for the “gold price” as an …

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Visualizing England’s Woes

I hope I’m proved wrong in this case, but this is a visualization that does what any great visualisation should: it lets you find your own story. In my case I’m convinced that England’s football woes lie in the fact that not only do foreigners squeeze the natural wellspring of talent in the domestic game, …

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Hoodiephobia, Or We Don’t Lie to Google

Does what we search for online reflect our fears? There’s a growing obsession in the UK, it would seem, with ‘hoodies’—young people who wear sports clothing with hoods who maraud in gangs. Michael Caine has just starred in a movie about them (well, a revenge fantasy about them.) This Guardian piece explores the movie-making potential …

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The Heatline of a Story

Google, apparently prodded by the ground covered by twitter news, has introduced a feature on its Google News search results that indicates what one might call the ‘heat’ of a story—how many sources are covering it over time: As with Google Search Trends, the stories below the chart are linked to the graph via letters …

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Google and History

I had gotten excited about Google’s timeline search before, but hadn’t seen this: Google is mining not just text for the dates of more recent stuff, but everything, stretching back into the mists of time, culled from Google Books: The result is an odd but interesting automatically generated history of whatever you’re looking for. In …

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Google’s Suicide Watch

I don’t really know what to make of this, but I occasionally trawl Google Search Trends/Insights to see what people are looking for, and whether they’re changing much over the past few years. This seems to me to be as good an indicator of things as anything else. I did it back in 2005 with …

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The Financial Crisis in Charts

Thought I’d offer a brief history of the financial crisis as seen through Google Insights, which measures the popularity of a search term over time. Interest in the word subprime spiked a couple of times in 2007 (above) before we figured out it was all about toxic debts (below): and credit crunches: Then we realised …

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Fail, Seinfeld and Tina Fey: A Zeitgeist

I use Google Insights quite a bit—I find it a very useful way to measure interest in topics. Here’s one I keyed in just for the hell of it. Red is the word success and blue is the word fail. The chart covers from 2004 to today: What seems to have happened is a surge …

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The Freshness. and T-Shirt Worthiness, of News

(cross-posted from a Loose Wire sister site, ConvergedMedia.net) CNN.com has a good way of informing readers of the ‘freshness’ of news by adding notes in red to indicate when the story was added or updated. (In the example above it also adds a ‘developing story’ label.) This kind of thing is helpful in that the …

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Breaking Out of Those Silos

If you’re looking for the future of news, a pretty good example of it is at UK startup silobreaker, which isn’t a farm demolition service but a pretty cool news aggregation and visualization site. In other words, it lets you look at news in different ways. And it’s caught the attention of Microsoft, who today …

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