United States of Harambe
July 17, 2020 8:18 AM   Subscribe

 
America is a fickle and deeply stupid country.
posted by Ickster at 8:38 AM on July 17 [20 favorites]


Why does the upper Midwest search for "Jimmy John's" so much in the beginning? I swear, Minnesota must've eaten nothing else.
posted by Ickster at 8:39 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Here's a hypnotic animation

I would agree with that statement.
posted by Melismata at 8:40 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


FORTNITE
FORTNITE
FORTNITE
posted by tclark at 8:44 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


"Sup, Google? Just stopped by to say hello."
posted by straight at 8:46 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


Actually, Fortnight-Googling Joe is an outlier and should not be counted.
posted by suetanvil at 8:53 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


FORTNITE

For weeks and weeks.
posted by sjswitzer at 8:53 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


This was much worse than I thought it would be.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:04 AM on July 17 [14 favorites]


The unending war of jimmy johns vs McDonald's nutrition...
posted by kaibutsu at 9:21 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


WTF, America?
What.The.Fuck

"Your ignorance makes me ill and angry."
posted by Rash at 9:24 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


About midway through I noticed that certain periods were accellerated, likely to keep it punchy, but it also gives the misleading impression of how long, say Uptown Funk topped the chart.
posted by pwnguin at 9:26 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


This visualization is much more about what Google's "trending" algorithm filters out than what's going on in America. I mean it's not nothing.. But if you just had a straight view of searches, pretty sure "Facebook" would be #1 all the time.
posted by Nelson at 9:47 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


I like that for about four months solid in late 2012, South Dakotans were constantly googling "Gangnam Style Lyrics." That has a brief spike throughout the whole midwest a few weeks later before everyone's attention turns to Big Bird, but South Dakota keeps faith.

In early 2013, "Gangnam Style" suddenly sweeps the nation while SD shrugs and moves on to Slender Man.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:53 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Surprised to see JoJo Rabbit swept the nation - however briefly. I mean, it's a good little movie and all, but it was hardly multiplex fare, was it?
posted by Paul Slade at 10:00 AM on July 17


I saw it in a multiplex but maybe this was because it was nominated for an best picture and no one had heard of it.
posted by octothorpe at 10:07 AM on July 17


What the fuck was happening through that long stretch in 2012 when the rest of the country was obsessed with abortion but New Yorkers were all NO WE SHALL BE RESOLUTELY FOCUSED ON MOMA

I can't believe how many of these national preoccupations passed me by entirely :( Am I so old as all that?
posted by MiraK at 10:09 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


I forced myself to watch the whole thing and I'm glad I did but I did pause it a few times thinking "god you lived through this; why are you doing this to yourself again?"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:15 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]


I never thought it could happen, but the COVID vs. BLM wars make me long for the simpler days of the FORTNITE vs. BABY SHARK wars.
posted by The Bellman at 10:17 AM on July 17 [14 favorites]


Turns out there are a lot more "diets" out there than I am aware of.
posted by sideshow at 10:23 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


This is great. Well, the concept is great and the execution is great. The results make me a bit sad.

I think this may be the first time in my life where I've seen a data-rich presentation and said, "yeah, that actually does work best as video." Neat!
posted by eotvos at 10:32 AM on July 17 [6 favorites]


Is this something I'd need a television to understand?
posted by madcaptenor at 10:49 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


I feel like most of these searches are people wanting to know "what is this X thing I keep hearing about?" rather than a reflection of true interest or priorities, which is why the trends are so brief and dominated by pop-culture trivialities.
posted by dephlogisticated at 10:54 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


America is a fickle and deeply stupid country.

Coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus, Tiger King, coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus...
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:56 AM on July 17 [7 favorites]


It's is neither "fickle" nor "deeply stupid" to seek out information on what people around you are talking about.

Just because you see some of these items as a waste of time or beneath the attention of serious minded people doesn't make them any less valid a subject of curiosity.
posted by oddman at 11:02 AM on July 17 [16 favorites]


Counterpoint: America elected a reality TV star president thanks to the obsession with fame, celebrity, and novelty on display here.
posted by biogeo at 11:06 AM on July 17 [18 favorites]


It's kind of wild how this marks major cultural events too, like the spike in "Robin Williams" in the days after his death. In less than a week he had nearly conquered the whole of the US.
posted by JakeEXTREME at 11:07 AM on July 17


I first saw this posted on Reddit and there were a number of commenters pointing out that kids often access popular music by googling the artist and clicking on the youtube link. It seems like that could explain some of the oddly persistent focus on certain pop stars.
posted by treepour at 11:09 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


I've often heard tales of the Gomez-Perry war of the early 2010s.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:16 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I'm not about to go read stuff about it, but I would be at least a little suspicious that google-trends obscures ongoing very common searches and periodically common searches in favor of finding things that are more interesting or unique.

I mean, all those mid-Aprils without "taxes" being a top search item in any state? Maybe that's just the raw reality of it, but if so that's a bit surprising.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:27 AM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Very depressing.
posted by dobbs at 11:36 AM on July 17 [2 favorites]


So I just pulled up google trends for April 2016, where the video lists "slither.io" as trending across almost the entire US, and at least looking nationwide there was no day that month in which more people weren't searching for "taxes." Around the middle of the month, as you might expect, there were many times more searches for taxes than for slither.io .

Whatever this is showing, it's not just how common searches are, and either they or google are doing Math Shit to get these results. Maybe trending is looking at the first derivatives?
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:44 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


Is this something I'd need a television to understand?

Obviously. (At least, I guess that's what all these names are, who I've never heard of.)

kids often access popular music by googling the artist and clicking on the youtube link

Not just kids...
posted by Rash at 11:47 AM on July 17


What the fuck was happening through that long stretch in 2012 when the rest of the country was obsessed with abortion

2012 was a Presidential election year. Presumably, Republicans were busy stirring up unease about abortion to motivate their base.
posted by Paul Slade at 11:51 AM on July 17 [4 favorites]


7 Rings was apparently a thing across the *whole country* for 2 weeks in early 2019 from mid Jan to very early Feb. I honestly had to google what it was (my guess was a movie or some sort on internet challenge). I then watched the video for it. I can - no word of a lie - say I never heard that song before. Two weeks - the entire country - within the past 2 years.

Also pleasantly surprised that Trump never captured the whole country the day after the election, and his inauguration didn't even register as top in any state.

Kobe Bryant was interesting - he didn't show up for by my count until two days after this death - and not in California for 4 or 5 days after his death. Not sure if that is due to delays in the data somewhere or some other factor. Most of the other events I looked at where you can assign a hard date to the event (like Trump on the day after the election, or Steve Jobs passing, etc.) started trending that day. But given the mass media reaction about Kobe I was surprised that news didn't trend more quickly.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:00 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


You go, Rebecca Black, you go.
posted by maxwelton at 12:29 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


It seemed almost too perfect that the Google searches for the August 2017 solar eclipse seemed to mirror its path-- I guess its better that people in the path were Googling instead of staring up directly at it trying to figure out what was going on.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 1:55 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


I honestly WAS staring up directly at the eclipse while it was going on, but I was doing it with appropriate eclipse glasses and couldn't have Googled because I was 20 miles further than Middle Of Nowhere, Oregon at the time.
posted by hippybear at 6:20 PM on July 17


7 Rings was apparently a thing across the *whole country* for 2 weeks in early 2019 from mid Jan to very early Feb. I honestly had to google what it was (my guess was a movie or some sort on internet challenge). I then watched the video for it. I can - no word of a lie - say I never heard that song before.

7 Rings had the double-whammy of being a popular song by a popular singer, and that singer running "7 rings" through Google Translate or the like, coming up with "七輪," and getting it tattooed on her hand, only to find out that 七輪 isn't Japanese for "seven rings," it's Japanese for what Americans call a "hibachi grill."
posted by Bugbread at 10:23 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


(Okay, maybe what y'all call hibachis are different. 七輪 is Japanese for this, whatever y'all call it.)
posted by Bugbread at 10:32 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I would deeply love to see the same visualisation applied to the countries of Europe.
posted by rongorongo at 12:49 AM on July 18


Is it possible that many of the searches are by bots to raise their search stats?
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:22 AM on July 18


Why was everyone googling "Hello" on November 1, 2015?
posted by great_radio at 12:43 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]




Curiously, "Hello" was followed up by sequel-songs "I am trapped," "In a Datacenter" and -- the biggest hit of all -- "Send Help" which didn't appear at all in the Billboard charts, but completely dominated the search engine stats.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:35 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


"Hello" is a song by English singer-songwriter Adele Lionel Ritchie

I can type it in the box, I can see it in your trends
Clicks're all I've ever wanted and my browser's open wide...
posted by maxwelton at 4:58 PM on July 19


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