Burning Questions

On: September 11, 2010
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About Natalie Dixon
I’m a new media thinker, strategist and writer. My current research focus is on the ‘affective bandwidth’ of mobile-mediated communication. My research interests include affective computing, HCI, biomapping, emotion, the impact of mobile phones on social behaviour, analytical design and information visualization. I graduated from the new media track of the Media and Culture masters programme in 2011.


Is Google the always-on, silent recorder of global zeitgeist? There’s Google Trends, which lists most searched-for sites and topics in the last week, month or year around the globe. This has been a useful tool for digital publishers to gauge popularity and areas of growth and/or interest on the web.
But Google’s autocomplete has also become a more pacey register of an ever-dynamic zeitgeist and a database of where our minds wander every minute. It also reveals a repetition of some themes. The universal conditions? The questions we seem to all ask? Some existential musings? Issues of privacy and anonymous data aside, the search suggestions can sometimes be very entertaining….

How do I live?
How do I look?
How do I know when it’s love?
How do I know when it’s over?
How do I know when it’s time to break up?
How do I know when it’s time to put my dog to sleep?
How do I know who I am?
How do I know who unfollowed me on Twitter?
How do I know if I’m pregnant?
How do I know if he likes me?
How do I know if I have bedbugs?
How do I know if I have herpes?
Why is there fuzz on a tennis ball?
Why is there a worm in Tequila?
Why is there no J street in DC?

See some of Failblog’s autocomplete highlights.

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