Finnish former prime minister and international conflict mediator Martti Ahtisaari has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Congratulations! Using Google Insights for Search, I traced the popularity of the most commonly rumored nominees for this prestigious prize during the last 12 months. I experimented with a new format. I downloaded the real, unstandardized number sequences for a large number of nominees and then selected out the 16 with the highest average score. These were then represented as colored bands in a normalized, stacked area diagram:
Notice that Ahtisaari was not exactly the most popular. That role was assigned to rock band U2's musician and activist Bono. Next came Human Rights Watch (HRW), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Greenpeace. The only other rumored nominee with decent Google-popularity was peace activist Kathy Kelly.