State of the Internet: Top Technorati Searches, Feb. 9, 2009

Here is Technorati.com’s list of the top 15 searches in blogs by users of its site. It is the oddest assemblage things and at first I could not make any sense of it at all.

‘ Top searches

1. taskbar
2. news
3. environment
4. jennifer garner
5. men
6. cheat-codes
7. google
8. paris hilton
9. jennifer aniston
10. vanessa minnillo
11. arab
12. olympics
13. “kerry howley”
14. noelia
15. ibm ‘

Really? The number one thing you are interested in is taskbars? They are nice, taskbars. But more important than any other search that could be carried out? What in the world is going on here. If you actually go to “taskbars,” you receive the distinct impression that these searches are being made necessary because they feel Windows 7 is, like most Microsoft products, buggy and is messing up people’s task bars.

And then, “News?” Isn’t that awfully generic, folks? And, why is it that there is not actually any of what a normal person would call news on the front page of that search?

I am heartened that “environment” ranks just after “taskbar” and “news.” Although you know my objections to the first two. But personally, I think “environment” should be number one.

Jennifer Garner does not need explanation.

I don’t understand searching for “men” and also there isn’t anything in particular about men on the resultant front page.

Then come cheat codes for video games. I suppose that does not need explanation. But is it the sixth most important thing in a person’s life?

Then “google.” Why would you search on technorati for “google?” Are you looking for business news, or what bloggers are finding on “google?” I don’t get it.

Then three starlets.

Then “Arab”? What is with “Arab?” It throws up stories on all kinds of things, including Afghanistan (not Arab). Some of the stories are about Arab prejudices, many of them are racist screeds against Arabs. I suppose it is proxy for what is left of Bush’s “war on terror.” But it is interesting that the search is “Arab,” not “Muslim.” Seems kind of racist to me. I mean, what if there were a search for any other ethnic group in the top 15? Wouldn’t that be creepy?

Then “Olympics?” Why are they searching in “Olympics” now? There aren’t any Olympics going on. Is it a proxy for Michael Phelps being pilloried for getting high the wrong way?

Then “Reason” associate editor Kerry Howley. Hunh? At least a woman intellectual makes the list.

And Puerto Rican pop star Noelia.

Then “IBM.”

Even though nearly half of Americans now spend an hour a day or more on the internet, and even though nearly as many women use it as men and despite increasing use by those over 30, Technorati.com users still apparently consist mainly of adolescent males.

They are annoyed that Windows 7 is messing up their browser task bars, they are trolling for “news” (apparently it doesn’t matter what), they are highly interested in the environment, in how to win video games, in a handful of beautiful young women (in that order), in IT and computer companies, and, smack in the middle of it all, in “Arabs.”

Structurally speaking, most these interests fall into three main categories: The Western male Self and its technological context and extensions (men, browsers, environment, video games, IBM, news); and two sorts of Other that form boundaries for that Self: starlets and Arabs, the one attractive but unattainable, the other an inscrutable nemesis.

I gave some thought to the ideal vacation spot for these Technorati searchers, and decided that it is Beirut. Do some searches under that rubric and you’ll understand.

End/ (Not Continued)

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