Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 on YouTube and Flickr

From the Official Google Blog, check out What Were We Watching This Year? Let's Rewind 2011. Here you'll see a YouTube video of what was the most popular. Scroll down to see a list of music videos, particular channels and categories, and topics such as fashion, how-to, and sports. Google reports that there were over 1 trillion playbacks on YouTube. That's an incredibly high number, more than twice as many stars in the Milky Way, says Google.

If you're more into still images, check out Mashable's article on Flickr 2011: The Year in Photos. Political unrest was a popular subject as was weather-related events. Occupy Wall Street makes an appearance as does Harry Potter. The collection is also available directly on Flickr with brief commentary by Yahoo editors.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Search Trends in 2011

It's always interesting to go back and see what caught people's attention over the course of a year. I have search engine results, but I thought I'd also post a few popular search lists from other sources. Take a look:

Bieber Beats Kim Kardashian as Most Searched Person of 2011 -- Guess having a paternity suit dropped on you, even if it turned out to be bogus, does wonders for your popularity. Casey Anthony got a lot of interest (or perhaps morbid curiosity) as did Hurricane Irene. In sports, tennis ruled, while music chart mainstays also were popular, beating out up and coming singers. Consumers were looking for gaming systems and speculating about the iPhone 5. American Idol was the most popular TV show while the Kardashians hold some kind of fascination for searchers. Actresses and female reality show stars were more popular than their male counterparts. The Smurfs actually made it at #7 for movies searched while the next Mission Impossible installment took #1, even thought it's not in theatres yet. The wedding of Prince William and Kate was popular, as was Kate herself and her sister Pippa. See the rest of Bing's top searches.

Google's Zeitgeist 2011 -- Google charted how the entire world searched, not just the US. Rebecca Black and her "Friday" video were popular, and Google's own Google+ got the #2 spot. Casey Anthony appears on this list also as does the iPhone 5. Check out the zeitgeist website and see what people in other countries were interested in.

Top 10 Twitter Trends of 2011 -- According to hashtags used, Justin Bieber also reigned supreme on Twitter. For some reason Finding Nemo was a popular movie, and cricket beat out the NHL in sports. Events in the Middle East and North Africa captured the world's attention as did the earthquake in Japan. The article I've linked to has a neat infographic.

Facebook Reveals 2011's Most-Popular Status Trends -- The death of Osama bin Laden  sparked the most status updates, but the news story that got the most shares was about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Check out the list to see the top songs, movies, and TV shows (old favorite House ranks high with Facebook users). Soccer was popular in sports. There's even a category for fictional characters. (I've never heard of most of them, but I'm guessing Facebook users aren't big readers. The ones I do know are from TV shows.) Note that the categories weren't based on status updates but rather page popularity.

AOL Names Top 11 News Stories that Shaped 2011 -- Basing the results on shares and comments across all its news sites, AOL names stories such as the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as top of the year. They list their results chronologically, and it's fascinating to relive 2011 month by month. Charlie Sheen gets mentioned as does the unrest in the Middle East and Africa along with the debt ceiling crisis. It's quite an eclectic list.

What were you searching for and reading about in 2011? Feel free to leave comments.

Monday, December 5, 2011


It's possible to list your phone numbers on a do not call list and you can stop unwanted catalogs and mailings from coming to your house, but what do you do about those people finder directories online? Chances are, you never signed up to be listed in any of them--they get their information from publicly available sources--so how do you get unlisted?

Try UnlistMy.Info. Some of the sites require you to mail a form and possibly a copy of your driver's license (black out the number first), and some of the sites have a simple online form. It'll take quite a bit of work to get unlisted from all the sites, but if you're very concerned with privacy it might be worth it. There is a contact email to report bad instructions, which I'm tempted to use because I found at least two errors. Still, it could be an eye-opening exercise to search for yourself at some of these sites and see how much information is readily found on you.