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How the World Searched
December 15, 2011 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Fukushima. Osama Bin Laden. The Arab Spring. The Royal Wedding. Natural Disasters. Argentine Soccer Teams. Elizabeth Taylor. Gabrielle Giffords. iPad2 & iPhone 5. Steve Jobs..... Google Presents their 11th annual Zeitgeist: 2011 Year In Review (youtube) "What mattered in 2011? Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011."

"With Zeitgeist, we look at the most popular and the fastest rising terms — the terms with the highest growth in 2011—in many categories across many countries around the world. For our 2011 Zeitgeist site, we’ve improved the visualizations to make it easy to compare terms across categories, added detailed infographics for an immersive dive into the data and created a video overview of the search terms that captivated the world this year."
Results from previous years.

Previously on MeFi: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2010
posted by zarq (26 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it just me or did this year seem more ....action packed then others? It's like every month someone was getting shot or irradiated or married.
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 AM on December 15, 2011


I felt the same. 2011 just kept on giving.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 8:47 AM on December 15, 2011


They never miss an opportunity to flaunt Google + I see, but amazing year indeed.
posted by wheelieman at 8:53 AM on December 15, 2011


The Whelk: "Is it just me or did this year seem more ....action packed then others? It's like every month someone was getting shot or irradiated or married"

You can tell China is ascendent because their curse is effecting the whole globe.
posted by charred husk at 8:55 AM on December 15, 2011


RABBIT YEARS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE CALM AND TRANQUIL WTF ASTROLOGY
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Truly a well-produced piece of video. I do videos like that and the amount of work that goes into performing, recording and editing screen cap based stuff at HD resolutions and with zooms is very tough to do so crisply.
posted by bz at 8:58 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had never heard of that number-one person. I just turned 30. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.
posted by resurrexit at 8:59 AM on December 15, 2011


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.
That you are blessed beyond belief, just dont google her, you will thank me.
posted by wheelieman at 9:01 AM on December 15, 2011


I did it. I Googled her. Holy fuck, that's one awful song. The electronically enhanced whine of "Friii-day" literally made me cringe.
posted by pracowity at 9:06 AM on December 15, 2011


resurrexit: "I had never heard of that number-one person. I just turned 30. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN."

I don't know who 3 or 4 are and the only reason that I know who Rebecca Black is because of a post here about her. But I don't pay attention much.
posted by octothorpe at 9:08 AM on December 15, 2011


One of the fun things about going through these is watching the rise and fall of social networks. 2011? Google+. 2007-2010? Facebook, Facebook, Facebook login, Facebook. 2006? Myspace. Hi5 and Orkut are in there too somewhere, like little plaques in the graveyard of the Internet.
posted by Tubalcain at 9:12 AM on December 15, 2011


God, poor MySpace can't catch a break.

Which surprises me because I would have thought, even before 2011, that it wouldn't have had that much further to fall. I'm confusing speed and distance with this metaphor, but I guess I would have thought they'd reached whatever the Google Zeitgeist version of terminal velocity by now.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:13 AM on December 15, 2011


pracowity: "I did it. I Googled her. Holy fuck, that's one awful song. The electronically enhanced whine of "Friii-day" literally made me cringe."

The song was parodied throughout the year, of which the only one that was worth watching (imo) was a performance on the Jimmy Fallon show by Stephen Colbert and The Roots. (Background -- Fallon raised $26K for Donors Choose.) Katy Perry's song "Last Friday Night" included an appearance by Black in a non-singing role, as well as Debbie Gibson, Corey Feldman, Kevin McHale and Kenny G.
posted by zarq at 9:17 AM on December 15, 2011


I still stand by my argument that Friday is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Also that its parody song Prom Night is unexpectedly twisted and brilliant.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:22 AM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Death Metal Friday is also worth listening to. It's really catchy in that same way that Morbid Angel seemed to stumble into sometimes.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:23 AM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I still stand by my argument that Friday is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

That was a lot of words to say "so bad it's good"
posted by Hoopo at 9:39 AM on December 15, 2011


My favorite cover is by James Urbaniak with Paul & Storm and Wil Wheaton, because it's Rusty Venture doing a Beat version.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:44 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another Zeitgeit snippet: Today the war in Iraq is officially over.
posted by nickyskye at 9:54 AM on December 15, 2011


nickyskye: "Today the war in Iraq is officially over."

Deja Vu.
posted by zarq at 9:57 AM on December 15, 2011


Is it just me or did this year seem more ....action packed then others?

Charlie Brooker: 2011 has been like an end-of-season finale. 2012 doesn't stand a chance.
posted by Richard Holden at 10:03 AM on December 15, 2011


I didn't think it was possible to love James Urbaniak any more then I already do but here we are.
posted by The Whelk at 10:03 AM on December 15, 2011


I knew who Rebecca Black was but I had never heard of Adele. Wikipedia says she is like the Lady Gaga of Great Britain. Thank you internet.

In my mind the biggest story of the year was either the Japan tsunami or the Mubarak regime in Cairo succumbing to people power. Did the people in Cairo really call it the facebook revolution or was that western press bullshit?
posted by bukvich at 10:30 AM on December 15, 2011


2012 doesn't stand a chance.

Next year won't even have any shuttle launches.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:57 AM on December 15, 2011


resurrexit: I had never heard of that number-one person. I just turned 30. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.

wheelieman: That you are blessed beyond belief, just dont google her, you will thank me.

octothorpe: I don't know who 3 or 4 are and the only reason that I know who Rebecca Black is because of a post here about her.

Per the RebeccaBlack tag, there have been 5 posts about her, and I regret to say, my post was the first on her. But the whole Ark Music Factory article at the end is an interesting read, if you like knowing how such pop nonsense started.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:00 PM on December 15, 2011


Just once I'd like to see the actual top 20. I'm sure there'd be a lot more "boobs" in the list.
posted by lubujackson at 4:21 PM on December 15, 2011


What mattered in 2011?

I just heard someone on the radio raising the question of what was the most important news story of 2011. After careful consideration, I decided that it was probably the local Shawarma place closing. Where am I supposed to get my cheap garlic-rich sandwiches now? I can only hope next year brings better news.

That thing in Egypt was a close second, though.
posted by sfenders at 4:47 PM on December 15, 2011


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