Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Publishing a personal zeitgeist using data from Google Search History

Every year Google publishes its "zeitgeist", which is a list of the most popular searches and search trends for the year. If you're one of those who like to introspect and to tell others about your interests (extrospect?), you might want to publish your Personal 2006 Zeitgeist, which is basically what Google Search Trends shows:

For Jonathan Aquino, 2006 was the year of Dojo, which is a Javascript programming toolkit you can use to make parts of your webpages fade in and out, load things in the background, and generally fly around. Yahoo evidently has a very nice Javascript toolkit as well - need to check that out sometime. The Prototype toolkit barely hung on, at #10 on the third list.

It was also, to a lesser degree, the Jonathan Aquino Year of CSS, in which I grew in my appreciation of the power of Cascading Style Sheets for styling website color schemes, typography, and graphics.

Wikipedia and Amazon were oft-used tools in 2006, as of course was the matchless PHP documentation (with some fantastic user-contributed notes).

There wasn't much in the way of non-programming searches for Jonathan Aquino in 2006. The Ditto Clipboard was found to be an excellent clipboard-history tool (provided you set a limit - I chose 30 days - for performance). And there were occasional excursions to danah boyd's Best of Apophenia site for sociological insights into social networking, though that too was work related, and perhaps of questionable benefit.

Finally some search-activity charts. Searching stopped at midnight, though occasionally went to 1AM. Here too you see evidence of a regretful all-nighter. Searching resumed in earnest at 9AM.


  • Zeitgeist looks very interesting, but can you get personal trends? I don't see how when I go to the zeitgeist page.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/14/2007 5:44 a.m.  

  • Hi troarty - you need to sign into Google and turn on Search History. Then after some weeks, when you visit your Google Trends page, you can see your personal search trends.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 2/14/2007 7:49 p.m.  

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