Honestly I don’t really know what to make of this. Why is it almost entirely in Spanish?
Even if you don’t speak-a the spanish, it’s not too hard to decipher what la gente is searching for: funny videos, adult videos, videos of captured Puerto Rican drug lord Jose David Figuera Agosto, and of New York-born Dominican band Aventura, who made their way from the Bronx, to the Lower East Side via Chico’s mural artistry, to MSG and beyond.
In fact, I think more translating is needed to figure out what the English-language searches are getting at. Um, you guys know you’re already online, right?
Suddenly I was overcome with a need to listen to Gloria, by Laura Branigan. I lifted my already-plugged-in mp3 device and searched for the song. To my dismay I realized that– what the fuck? — I don’t have it on there. Other Glorias, yes. U2’s Gloria. And Mineral’s. But not Ms. Branigan’s, the one I was currently butchering a capella.
Too lazy to rummage through my CDs and ruing that visit to a record shop in Kansas City when my friend picked up the Flashdance soundtrack before I did, I went to the YouTube for the quick and easy way to play it. I noticed a number of other Gloria tracks up there, so I decided to do a little Google investigation:
That’s a lot of Gloria. And that’s not even all of them. (See Mineral, above. Cross ref: Emo as fuck and still in rotation.)
I’ll let you poke around and find your own favorite Gloria, but read on for a couple suggestions.
There are those questions that plague us all, the brilliant and the dull alike. Why is the sky blue kind of questions. Things we see all the time but don’t always think about and certainly don’t fully understand. So I wasn’t surprised when I checked out “why do you” and “why do u” on the Google and found queries of why we yawn and why we hiccup submitted with either spelling. Whether you’re the kind of person who writes out “you” or the kind of person who thinks it’s ok to substitute the letter (it’s not), they’re both ever-mystifying bodily experiences.
And people from both populations may have an interest in working with kids or serving the public — but you could do it one way, or u could do it the other…
I really don’t mind being asked for, say, a restaurant reco or an easy and direct subway route. I’ve lived in this city a long time and am proud to impart my wisdom. But we’ve all gotten that query like “what are the museum’s hours?” which could just as easily be resolved by the query-er himself spending eight seconds on the internet. For that there’s let me google that for you.
Go to the site, type the search term into the fake Google search bar and hit return. It will spit out a link. Hover over it to reveal a tiny url — it’s more subtle — copy it and send the link to your friend. I could describe what it will do, but it’s more fun to experience it for yourself:
You’ll end up looking like a wise-ass, but a magnanimous wise ass: you’re friend’ll get his answer in the end.
We all have goals, we just don’t want to work too hard to reach them. Indeed, we want the easiest way to get where we’re going — and the easiest way to figure out what the easiest way is. So it stands to reason that we’d seek the existential paths of least resistance as we’d look for the best routes to avoid traffic after a long weekend: Google. What are we hoping to achieve in the easiest possible ways? New skills. A smaller waist and a bigger paycheck. A good looking site, a better looking suit. The easiest way out.
Aw, man. Easiest way to kill oneself? Seriously? That’s such a freaking downer. I mean, it’ s bad enough that there are so many people out there contemplating suicide. But it’s a whole new level of sad that they’re searching Google for the best ways to do it. So much for going out with dignity.
As you can imagine, the search results for “easiest way to kill oneself” contain some rather disturbing tidbits, like this forum discussion on a game developer website. Oh, nerds. Then there’s the creepy Wikipedia summary divided into Bleeding, Drowning, Suffocation and Electrocution. But I think the thing that strikes me most is down, down, down at the bottom of the page, where Google presents its selection of “related searches.” Among them: “cheapest way to kill yourself.” I’m all for thrift, but if there’s one thing to blow your wad on, it might as well be this.
I was a little surprised to see that “most painful piercing” made it into this top ten.
OK, well maybe not that surprised. But anyway, I’m going to let that query go unanswered for now (feel free to search for yourselves) and focus first on the most-viewed YouTube video. Can you guess what it is? Take a moment or two to come up with your selection then follow me over the jump for the answer.
Am I tempted to take this set of results as an opportunity to soliloquize smugly on the fallibility of Apple? To point out the difference between omnipresence and omnipotence? You bet I am. But I won’t. Much.
Considering that people are apparently inclined to turn to Google while sitting in a car that won’t turn over (presumably on their iPhones — and indeed I did watch my traveling companion a couple weeks ago google “why won’t my Ford van start”; it did not return what we soon figured out was the answer: hold the shifter a half-inch above “P” with your left hand while turning the key with the right), it seems fair to conclude that the search engine fields myriad queries about glitches in our most prized and important machines.
And so isn’t it curious that just one of the top ten Google searches aimed to elucidate the causes of malfunctioning electronics regards anything other than an iPod, iPhone or iTunes? I wonder.
Nuptials. Breakups. Friendship. New baby, job, home, direction. When something profound happens we look for words worthy of the occasion. Then we realize that we have no idea what to say. But someone else must. Aha! Quote a famous person! Someone smart and eloquent and insightful and not you. To the internet!
Looks about right. Life, love, moving on, happiness… The Notebook? Geesh. When I found that I took a breather, then redid the same search and found a rather hilarious surprise substitution…