What is the Google zeitgeist?

zeit·geist | Pronunciation: ‘tsIt-”gIst, ‘zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.

“Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”, and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries they receive every day. Google has several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. These tools are available for users to play with, explore, and learn from and use them for everything from business research to trivia answers. (http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist/index.html)

At the end of 2010, iPad, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry topped the list of Google’s top terms of the year (Justin Bieber was also among the most tweeted terms of the year, too). In the spirit of the times, we’ve looked at Google’s regional list to see if it has any relevance to Blackboard, and it does. With lots of faculty, students and parents logging on frequently, some multiple times a day, “Blackboard” or a similar search was a “Top 10 Google Search Term” in 10 of the top 31 major city searches and one of the most popular sites across the United States.

Atlanta, GA   (#3)

Austin, TX   (#3)

Chicago, IL   (#2)

Miami, FL   (#1)

Philadelphia, PA   (#1 & #4)

Pittsburg, PA   (#2)

Raleigh, NC   (#10)

St. Louis, MO   (#3)

Tampla, FL   (#4)

Washington, DC   (#4)

To see the full list of city-by-city search terms, check it out here: Zeitgeist 2010: How the world searched.  Also worth a look is the Fastest Rising Queries graph – it’s pretty cool to see what was on the minds of people across the United States in 2010.

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