Everyone talks about the Internet as a catalyst for “viral” processes. A classic example is Susan Boyle. Virtually unknown until her “Britain’s Got Talent” debut, in a matter of a few days she became a worldwide celebrity.
One way to measure this is to look at Google searches. Here is a graph for 2009, where some key events are noted. For comparison purposes, I also plot searches for “Madonna.”
This is pretty impressive. If you are not impressed, you should be.
An additional advantage of Google is that it allows you to measure searches by geographic area. The second picture shows the values for the UK, the US and Japan. While Google does not provide absolute numbers of searches (and so it’s difficult to compare the size of the effects) it’s remarkable how correlated they are in terms of time patterns. I suppose this is what we call globalization.
Posted by Luis Cabral