Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Google Trends : A Glimpse of The "Database Of Intentions"

Sometime back  google launched a new service called Google Trends  .  With this service you can choose any topic or keyword  and google will tell you  how many times and by which geographical area  a search  is being done on it . Now  you can see the graphical distribution of search magnitude over time line .You can also see tabular  representation of search  in terms of geographical  distribution .

its a funny and addictive service  i tried to find out search frequency for Sania Mirza. compared search frequency of Nokia ,Motorola,Sony .

Bill Gates  & Larry Page and a Lot more .Mostly nasty one  . It was very informative . Specially when you look at   the part of the world from which the query is being done ?

Want to know sex is searched more at UAE or USA ? well  go find out find out :-)

Alright it is a cool application . But implication of this service is far reaching than just people like me doing it just for hack & fun  of it . We know that google keep a record of every search being done  through its site . you can track it right up to the IP address from which the search is done .

I n his book "The Search"  ,  John Battelle   (Co Founder of Wired  )" call this Log of search as "Database of Intentions" . Every google user  fear the day when what he search for is known to the world . whether we admit it to our self or not  but we are practically naked in front of Google. With Google Trends this database of intention is open ,Although at a very very coarse granularity level .

You can't  find what your Friends are searching for, But you can find out what an average person in UAE or US Or UK or India  is searching for . This can be  an explosive tool to study whats going inside a society , whats cooking and whats is being bottled up where . With this  raw , unedited and first hand info about citizen's  preference in a given geography  our precept ion of a country and their culture may change drastically . for the first time  Its not a Ministry  of tourism or Foreign affairs telling us about the country . Its the summation of action and intentions of their citizen . isn't that a real disruptive piece of info .

Kudos to Google Team for this breakthrough  . Their  mission was to organize worlds information . with Google Trends they are one step closer to providing  Actual  information to world . Still there are something which is scary , can this be treated as a factual data for forming opinion about a country (Eventually it will , some folks are quoting it already) .

Coming months will be interesting in this respect . I am keeping my fingers crossed

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