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June 20, 2011

A Year In The [Google] Life

by brainoids

Last week I shared some findings on how the new GoogleCorrelate tool uncovered the very sharp seasonality in searches for student internships (happily and coincidentally helping me out at work).   Search interest follows an extremely concentrated annual cycle, beginning during (or just after) winter break.   This of course begs the question of what topics are of most “peaked” interest for the remainder of the year…

With a few (52) manual iterations of adjusting the offsets in the “Winter Wave” pre-programmed GoogleCorrelate search, I’ve arrived at the following visualization.  The outer ring denotes the “most peaked” term for each week of the year, the middle ring denotes the “second most peaked” term in the lists, and the inner ring denotes the “third most peaked” term.   Poking around on the actual GoogleCorrelate site, there are some really interesting nuggets buried deeper in the rankings, but with a flat graphic I’m limited by how much data I can cram in!

The real “Winter Wave” is almost a little comical.   After shopping for designer boots, the jet-setting crowd sets off transworld snowboarding, for which they need Nordica and Volkl ski equipment.   After the holidays, the fun is a little closer to home (hockey arenas), after which all this extreme exposure results in much more mundane concerns (oranges, presumably to help cure bronchiolitis).    Well, OK, that may be more of a coherent narrative than is justified by the data, but it’s nonetheless fun.

The February-April rat race of summer internships, summer programs, and finally summer camps makes me a little glad to be neither a kid, nor a parent, in the 21st century.

The summertime drill from May-June appears to be:

  • Dress to kill (leather sandals, linen clothing, born sandals)
  • Fix-it-up (awning, decking, cedar decking, deck railing)
  • Keep-it-at-bay (Brush Hog, trumpet vine, johnson grass)
After June, it’s nothing but creepy crawlies:
  • Spider bites
  • Ant bites, red ants, fire ants
  • Brown spiders (presumably as in, “WTF was that brown spider I just killed”)
  • Killing fleas, flea infestations, getting rid of fleas, cat fleas, dog fleas

This puts a bit of a downer spin on July and August, I have to say.

If you’re selling pre-packaged christmas musicals for kids, get them on the shelves by early September.   October and November are completely devoted to killing things with 4, rather than 6-8, legs (treestands, duck blinds, deer stands, upland hunting, waterfowl).

After which we go shopping for designer boots and begin it all over again…

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