Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

"Threats" Climbs Google's Hot Topics

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, March 25 2010

Google Trends ever-changing list of "hot topics" that people are searching for online has been a particularly fascinating, if not altogether scientific, peek into what's on Americans minds.

Health care topics have been strong contenders all week; as we noted on Tuesday, in the hours immediately after President Obama signed the health care bill in the White House, Google searches for "What's in the health care bill?" shot up. For savvy politicians, that's search data you can use. Perhaps not coincidentally, shortly thereafter, White House new media director Macon Phillips put up a blog post titled, precisely, "What's in the Health Care Bill?" Intentional or not, it was a smart move from a search engine optimization perspective. That White House take on the bill's contents has established itself as the second highest search result for the phrase on Google.

A new day, and a new read on the American population. With incidents of violence and cases of violent rhetoric directed at members of Congress leading the news and swamping the web, people seem to be curious about the rising political temperatures across the country. The simple phrase "threats" was the number eight "Hot Topic" as of about an hour and a half ago. As of now, "threats" has climbed up to two spots to the number six slot on Google Trends.

UPDATE: In the time it took to write this post, "threats" climbed two spots to the number four space on Google Trends.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

Orkut and Why Facebook Beats Out Local Social Networks

Orkut, Google’s social network platform once beloved in Brazil, will soon shutter with Facebook taking its place. Mark Zuckerberg's social network currently not only operates but also dominates in every time zone, making it at this point in time, an empire upon which the sun literally never sets. GO

tuesday >

#FlashHacks: Crowdscraping Corporate Data to Understand "The Man"

You probably work for “The Man.” If not you, then someone close to you does, and even if you have no friends or family, your government is almost certainly doing business with him. Wouldn't it be nice to know a bit more about the so-called “Man”? Thanks to the massive open data project OpenCorporates, you now can, and they are intensifying their data opening efforts with #FlashHacks, a crowdscraping campaign launched today. The campaign goal is to release 10 million data points on the companies you work for, work with, buy from, sell to, and deal with in tangible and intangible ways every day, and all in just 10 days.

GO

New York City Payphone WiFi Project Presents Opportunities and Challenges

While some technologists who have experience in the space share the concerns of some New York City Council members and current payphone franchisees that the city's decision to award the project to only one franchisee or one joint venture could hurt the project, the city and one of the companies preparing a response to the Request for Proposals see the approach as the best way to ensure a standard experience, competition and innovation. From both perspectives, the project illustrates how the vision for more accessible WiFi in New York is tied to the potential for innovation within the established procurement system. GO

That's So Meta: To Test Digital Democracy, Crowdsourcing Comments on Digital Democracy

For more than a month now, Wikimedia Meta-Wiki, the global Wikimedia community site, has hosted a little experiment in digital democracy. Carl Miller, co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos-UK, and Wikimedia UK's Stevie Benton wanted to see whether the mechanisms that govern Wikipedia could be applied to political policy. The opportunity to do so arose when the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced the Commission on Digital Democracy, an investigation into how digital technology can be used to improve democratic processes, and solicited comments from the public.

GO

monday >

Weekly Readings: The "Snooper's Charter"

The UK wants to increase surveillance; Russia demands Google, Facebook and Twitter open local offices and hand over user data; Tunisians debate on social media whether to boycott the next election; and much more. GO

More