Saturday 12th March, 2011
12:30pm to 1:30pm
When people have questions they turn to search engines for the answers. Search activity can tell some interesting trends – hottest new gadget, most popular travel destination, or whether it’s going to be a bad flu season.
By digging deeper, this activity can be used in more compelling ways. For instance, it can be interpreted to foresee trends and develop news stories as billions of searches lend themselves to many narratives. Figuring out the “what-does-it-all-mean” goes beyond declaring the winner in an ever-changing popularity contest, or what’s on top of everyone’s mind day to day. What does the rise in apocalypse-related searches following natural disasters say about our modern society? Are the lookups following Tiger Woods’ story prurient, or are we repeating our ancient fascination with the morality tale? And can search activity project what the masses will decide, even before the masses know themselves?
By analyzing what people are searching for, societal trends can be determined and some would go as far as to say that search trends can actually predict the future. Analyzing search trends helps us understand the impulses and processes of why people make their choices at that particular moment in time.
This session will discuss the predictive nature of search and whether search has the power to drive news.
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