Google Trend Midden

As I am famously about to say, you can tell a lot about a country by their Google Trends data. For those who came in late, Google has a service called “Google Trends” where you can track the hottest search items in a given region at a given date.The searches are already done…the trends data is just the left-over remains. Hence the title of this post.

A midden is (to quote Google):

eitchen midden: (archeology) a mound of domestic refuse containing shells and animal bones marking the site of a prehistoric settlement

Now that we have the definitions out of the way.

Ever since Amit and I started this blog, I have been observing  Google Trends data to see what catches Indian surfers’ fancy. I expected to see the usual stuff that a country with the world’s largest 15-25 year old male population would likely be searching for. I was surprised.

It turns out that the wise surfers of India are not interested in lewd offerings on the internet. Far from it. It turns out that my desi brothers and sisters are searching instead for two things that arouse their passions more. They search for entrance exam results, and cricket scores.

Over the last three months, the Top 20 searches on Google in India will contain about 10 items related to the entrance exam du jour, and another 8 items for the cricket score du jour. Check out the snaps below.

That leaves me confused and concerned. What happened to the celebrity culture in India? What about the TV shows? What, lastly, about the level of political discourse? Why are people not voting for these things with their fingers?

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Meeting “Fixing”

Gaurav, Google has the answer to the biggest problem that large companies face – scheduling meetings!  Techcrunch reviews Google’s Smart Rescheduler feature here

“The person scheduling the meeting enters the names of the participants, how long the meeting will be, and a date by when the meeting must take place. The Smart Rescheduler then goes out and looks at everyone’s calendar to see when everyone is free, taking into account different time zones and other commitments on their calendars

What the Rescheduler does is look at all the soft constraints and actually ranks the best meeting times. Different attendees can be prioritized so the meeting is set around their schedule. Soft constraints are taken into account like partial schedule overlaps, times blocked with no other attendees, meetings where someone’s been invited but hasn’t yet accepted, or meetings organized by that person. These factors often indicate a schedule that can be altered.”

Personally, I love the last bit – the algorithms used to determine what can be changed.  Especially the “times blocked with no other attendees”.  No more games of blocking one’s calendar with random activities, just to prevent other’s from trying to schedule meetings during that time.  It also suggests that meetings can take precedence over anything else – a worrying sign if someone actually hoped to get work done in office!