(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)
Now that 2007 has shuffled off to make way for the new and improved 2008, let’s take a look at just what we searched for on the internet during the past 12 months with the aid of Zeitgeist, a collection of search trends collated by the king of the search engines, Google.
At the end of 2006, I was both startled and frightened that the No 1 news search on Google was “Paris Hilton”. This time around, the lovely Ms Hilton has slipped down the list to No 8, languishing behind luminaries such as Britney “I-Don’t-Need-No-Knickers” Spears (No 3) and dead celebrities Chris Benoit (No 5) and Anna Nicole Smith (No 7).
American Idol scored No 1 on a top 10 news search list dominated by celebrities rather than real news.
Still on the subject of dead celebrities, the top 10 searches for dead people featured just two actual, genuine dead people: Anna Nicole (whose death shortly after that of her son prompted a hotly contested battle to be named daddy of her infant daughter and caretaker of her millions) and wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his wife and son before taking his own life.
The other eight on the list were still very much alive but were rumoured to have bitten the big one — including political maestro and popular T-shirt decoration Fidel Castro and professional strange dude Michael Jackson. Although Michael Jackson’s lip is rumoured to have met its demise.
In the world of showbiz, it was Britney again, with her do-it-yourself haircut and much maligned MTV performance pulling a huge amount of interest from the punters and causing a noticable spike in her search numbers.
Heroes was the most searched for television show. It’s worth noting that The Nine didn’t make it on to the list _ probably because it rated so badly it was canned in the United States before the first season was over. (By the way: thanks TV2 for promoting the hell out of it to get us hooked on something that was doomed from the start. I didn’t fall for that same nasty trick with Traveler. In fact, any time a new programme appears on TVNZ I now check it out before I get hooked to see if it’s going to last long enough to be worth wasting my time on.)
We also asked “who is God” and wanted to know how to kiss and what is love. Maybe there’s hope for us after all.