Thursday, January 04, 2007

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places - I Should Be Looking In Makati, Philipines

I had fun playing with Google Trends. You can compare the world’s interests to your favorite topics. You enter in a topic or search term and you can see the top 10 cities around the world that have searched most often for that same topic. There is a page of small type explaining the way Google computes these answers, so who knows how accurate it really is, but it’s interesting to play with.

I went to Google Trends as part of my New Year’s resolution to develop my interests and get more involved in things I like doing. I figure that if I can learn what cities support the things I like doing, I might make an effort to get to know that place better. Or move there.

So on a whim, I quickly wrote down 10 GOOFY things I like. Period. No overthinking it. No tying it to an actual hobby that I might develop. Just writing down 10 things I like. Here is my list, embarrassing as it is:

1. Keb Mo
2. PBS
3. Documentaries
4. Dogs
5. Single Men
6. Digital Photography
7. Karaoke
8. Walks
9. Fried Foods (this was a nod to my darker side!)
10. Sports Illustrated

And here is what I discovered via Google Trends.

Denver, CO Googled Keb Mo more than any other city in the world. Austin came in 5th. Reminder, I’ve spent the majority of my life in Helena, Montana, Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas and now Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I have always loved Denver so it’s no surprise that they have exceptional musical taste.

It seems that Madison, WI searched the most for PBS, but Austin made an appearance in the top 10 coming in at number 9. Go KLRU!

Documentary lovers seem to live in New York, NY. You can guess that the other cities listed were quite well-know and cosmopolitan with the exception of Thames Ditton in the United Kingdom. I have no idea where that city is, but they were the 9th busiest city Googling documentaries.

Dogs. We all know I love dogs. And so does #1 Denver, CO and #10 Austin, TX! I also found it interesting that #2 was Richardson, TX, which is not too far from the Last Stop. So it seems the places I love, also love dogs.

Single men. Lord knows I need a date, so who else is out there also looking to meet Mr. Right? It appears that would be the city that never sleeps, New York, NY. Lots of desperate ladies in the Big Apple.

Digital Photography lovers live in Sydney, Australia. Love it!

I think Karaoke cracked me up the most. There were no U.S. cities in the top 10. You might think that Asian countries would show up given that there exists a stereotype of Japanese business men singing Peaches and Herb’s “Reunited” in loungy bar rooms. Nope. The top 10 cities searching for Karaoke were all in Eastern Block countries, led by #1 Vilnius, Lithuania! Coming in at #9 was Zagreb, Croatia and I’ve spent time there before. Had I known our mutual affinity I could have wowed them with my rendition of the theme song from The Jeffersons.

Walks. I like taking easy walks. So do the good folks in London because they’ve searched the term more often than anyone else.

I have to admit I eat too many fried foods but so does #2 Oklahoma City, and #3 Austin! I guess I’m right at home enjoying a little fried okra right here in OKC. I found it interesting that the teeny tiny little people of Singapore search Fried Foods more than any other.

Good old Sports Illustrated has been one of my favorite reads for many years now and that puts me in good company with those from Madison, WI. You got to love Madison. They are number one with PBS and Sports Illustrated. I think that’s awesome.

So, based on my interests it seems like living in Denver or Austin would be a good idea. Wait a minute…déjà vu… I think I need to hang with my fried chicken eating compatriots in Oklahoma City for awhile.

After looking up my ten interests on Google Trends, I reverted to being a 12 year old and entered a variety of other interests. It seems that the residents of Chennai, India are the most interested in sex, while those in Makati, Philippines think most about love. Baltimore, MD is trying the hardest to lose weight while Waltham, MA is drinking the most margaritas.

I then tried for thirty minutes to get Helena, Montana to come up on ANYTHING, to no avail. Perhaps the Internet hasn’t reached that far north yet. Yes, the good folks in Vilnius, Lithuania seem to be Googling their hearts out (when not singing karaoke), but Helena has some definite catching up to do.


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