Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Google Zeitgeist lists - buggered if I know!

Remember how exasperating it was when old people claimed not to have heard of the latest pop singer or TV personality that had been on everyone’s lips for weeks? Well, I’m proud to say I’ve turned into a befuddled oldster! I’ve just had a look at the 2011 Google Zeitgeist list of the ten people most searched-for on the web. I’ve heard of five of them – but who are Ryan Dunn, Rebecca Black, Ed Sheeran, Nick Minaj and Darren Criss?

As for the list of “fastest falling” people, I fare even worse: Heidi Montag, Alexandra Burke, Hayley Williams, Joe Mcelderry, Robert Pattinson? The list, however does contain one piece of excellent news – No. 1 is none other than the man we all love to despise - Nick Clegg! It really isn’t his week, is it?

Mind you, I’m not that out of touch – I’ve heard of nine of the ten “Top celebrities” list (though Jessica Jane has foxed me).

Of the list of “fastest rising movies”, I would actually pay not to see nine of them, and I’m really not that interested in sitting through the tenth - a remake of True Grit. Out of the ten, no less than eight are remakes or sequels, which is dispiriting. No one there's never anything worth watching on Sky Movies these days.

Some items in the “What Is…” searches are simply baffling. How could “What are truffles?” end up as third most-searched-for item? I thought the world economy was teetering on the brink. And I may have to become yet another person asking “What is 4d?” (fifth on the list) – because I didn’t even know there was such a thing. As for No. 10 – “What is probate?” – I don’t know whether to find that sad or faintly sinister.

The “How to…” search lists are even more baffling. What exactly does “How to geek?” mean (no. 8). And No. 10 is “How to shuffle?” 


No.2 is “How to snog” – what happened to kissing?

To be honest, I gave up pretending to have any interest whatsoever in popular culture when I stopped working in news  fourteen years ago - and I'm genuinely looking forward to the day when I look at these annual Google lists and don't recognise a single name.


  1. I also find Zepratlist very useful in deciding whether or not to watch Newsnight or Question Time, or buy a newspaper.

    Scott, I think you have answered your own point. For entirely understandable reasons, you tend to give anything that is celeb-based, a talent show or reality TV a swerve. Likewise any film that appeals to the teen market. That means that your life is immeasurably enriched by having never come across 90% of the drongos who make up the end of year most popular lists. For the first time ever, I have none of the CDs in the Best Of 2011 lists in any of the music magazines, a point that has rather cheered me up for some reason.

    By the way, 4d is just over 1p in pre-decimal currency. Is your memory going, old chap?

  2. The last time I owned a CD featured in the Music Magazines Best Of lists was probably sometime around 1978. I'm dead impressed by how you've managed to keep up with these things! And delighted that you're now experiencing that feeling of cheerfulness - which will, I'm sure, mellow to a deep and permanent sense of joy - that you no longer have to. It's a form of compensation for getting older - the aches and pains, being baffled by digital interfaces and having to get up to pee in the middle of the night suddenly seem a small price to pay.

    I actually listened to the following Spotify playlist of top 2011 songs compiled by the Telegraph blogger, Lucy Jones. I actually quite enjoyed about four of them - which surprised me: