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