01 November 2008

Dick Cheney vs. Condoleezza Rice vs. Donald Rumsfeld vs. Alberto Gonzales vs. Michael Chertoff

As we are in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, I thought it might be worth to have a look at some important, also at times controversial cabinet members.

Overall, Cheney had the highest Google-popularity. Then came Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Chertoff. When I looked a little closer though, Cheney's ranking had a lot to do first with the 2004 presidential election campaign and the February 2006 shooting incident—while hunting, he carelessly but accidentally shot an elderly friend in the face, neck and torso; the friend then apologized for the inconvenience... Rice's peaks fell in April 2004 (refusal and eventual testimony before the 9/11 Commission), November 2004 (presidential election) and February 2005. The latter peak is harder to explain. It might have had something to do with the State of the Union address and/or the subsequent withdrawal of North Korea from talks. Rumsfeld caught the attention of Googlers esp. in May 2004 and November 2006 (his forced resignation). The former peak may have been caused by the arguments before the US Supreme Court in the Hamdi v. Rumsfeld case about the constitutionality of the government's withholding due process of law from a US citizen. It is interesting to note that Gonzales' resignation in September 2007 did not lead to much extra Googling. His credibility had been suffering, caused by among other matters his disastrous July testimony about NSA domestic eavesdropping before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was then the subject of several attempts to pass no-confidence motions in Congress and eventually was forced to resign. In other words, maybe there's no peak because matters were stretched out over several months. Finally, Chertoff's most significant peak (January 2005) preceded his installation as Secretary of Homeland Security.

30 October 2008

Copyright vs. Trademark vs. Royalties vs. Intellectual Property in the UK, the US, Germany, Belgium and France

Today, a non-US-elections-related post... I faced off copyright-related terms: copyright (droit d'auteur/Urheberrecht/auteursrecht(en)) vs. trademark (marque déposée/Marke/eingetragenes Ware/handelsmerk/merk) vs. Royalties (redevance(s)/Abgabe(n)) vs. intellectual property (propriété intellectuelle/geistiges Eigentum/intellektuelles Eigentum/intellectueel eigendom). I did this for the UK, the US, Germany, Belgium and France. I included the translation of the terms in French, German and Dutch in the Google Insights for Search analysis when applicable so as to get a more accurate picture. First, I faced off the different countries for copyright:

There was the most interest in copyright in the UK, the least in France. A November 2004 peak in the UK could be observed: I don't know why. Over the 2004-now time span, Google-popularity went down in every country however. How about trademark?

This time, Belgians were the most interested, the French again the least. The UK was markedly less into trademark than copyright while Belgium was vice versa. I wonder if this had to do with different legislative traditions? It could also be that Marke and merk are too generic. I redid this analysis without those two terms:

This did change the situation. The US were now clearly the most interested in trademark and Germany and Belgium ended up much lower. Again, all countries' trend lines declined through time. Next, royalties:

France was no. 1 and this was substantially due to a big peak in October 2005. This time too, I wasn't able to ascertain why. There is no real Dutch term for royalties, the English word is commonly used. The US scored the lowest for this term. Looking at the evolution of the trend lines January 1, 2004 through now, the downward trend was esp. noticeable in France but the UK, the US and Germany also saw declines. Belgium on the other hand saw a slight increase. Finally, let's look at the intellectual property graph:

The US and the UK basically shared the lead while German Googlers cared the least for geistiges Eigentum. All countries lost interest between 2004 and now.

It seemed to me that obtaining country graphs for the four terms together would be useful. I started with the UK:

Copyright towered over the three other terms, even when not counting the big November 2004 peak. Next, the US:

Copyright again ruled, intellectual property was the least interesting. Let's look at Germany next:

Copyright and trademark were at the top, intellectual property hardly showed. However, when we took out the too generic term Marke, the graph changed drastically:

Copyright was alone in charge now, both trademark and intellectual property held hardly any interest. Then I analyzed Belgium:

Trademark was no. 1, intellectual property was in the doldrums. I eliminated merk again:

Copyright dominated while trademark almost disappeared; even intellectual property scored higher. At long last, I investigated the data for France.

Royalties won out in la douce France, trademark hardly existed. Intellectual property held some interest.

28 October 2008

Winner vs. Loser vs. Winning vs. Losing Worldwide and in the US, the UK and Australia

With the coming US elections only a week away, I compared the Google-popularity of four words that will be on everybody's lips...

As expected, winner and winning were victorious in their respective face-offs. There were some differences too though. Winner had an annual May peak while winning had only one clear peak, in August 2004. I don't have a good explanation for either. Loser and losing also were different in that loser showed outspoken peaks while losing was basically flat. Loser's peaks were not seasonal however. On the other hand, winner and loser were both peaking but not at the same time or in any way related. Again a puzzling result. Winning and losing had more in common: both resulted in more or less flat trend lines. How about checking out this foursome in the US only?

The results were quite similar to the worldwide graph as far as the relationships between the different pairs went. I guess this showed one more time how the US Googling public is in the driver's seat regarding the rankings, esp. when searching for English words. Next, the UK yielded this graph:

Surprise: winner vs. loser was much more lopsided, and loser had no real peaks. A May-August-December annual peak pattern for winner dissipated in 2007. Hmm... Finally, I looked into Australia:

Here, winner barely edged out loser overall. Also, the loser trend line was the only one of the four with astounding peaks, surpassing all other trend lines.

26 October 2008

Australia vs. Europe vs. Africa vs. Asia vs. Antarctica

Today, I faced off the five continents except for (the) America(s)—the latter would distort everything due to the US commonly being called "America." Also, I used Australia instead of Oceania as that is the more common usage at least in the US; Oceania by the way only received an overall 1% anyway.

Australia was the clear winner of this Google-popularity contest even though it saw a continuing decline. The caveat of course being that the term coincides with a country which may not be "fair" to compare with real continent names (see America above). Europe was also losing "market share." Antarctica was really of little interest. The only time when there was a peak in any of the trend lines was at the end of 2004: the catastrophic tsunami in the Indian Ocean region caused Asia to get a bump.