Monday, February 9, 2009

This topic's HOT, says Google Labs





I went deep into the bowels of the Internet today.

Okay maybe I didn't go that deep. But I made it down as far as Google Labs. For me that's like spelunking into the Bat Caves of the Cyber Geeks.

I went there because I was searching for a hot blog topic for today's post.

You see, I had a really busy weekend. Frankly I was exhausted. I couldn't think of a dad-blamed thing to write about for today's post. So I thought, "Hey, you can find anything on the Internet. I'll just look up something hot."

So I went to IE (that's Internet Explorer, for anyone who just left Planet DOS), and typed Hot Topic into the Search box.

And lo and behold, all sorts of links popped up. Including one article called--yes--How to Find Hot Topics to Write About.

The article sent me to a site called Google Labs, where you can select Google Suggest, type in a search phrase, and find out what trends people are currently searching for, all over the world.

So I did a few searches. And the results were a bit disheartening. Here's a sampling of the results with Google's "trend temperatures":


Selena Roberts and A-Rod (Volcanic)

Georgia teaching candidates must prepare for the GACE exam before they are able to accept a position in any public school (On Fire)

Obama Press Conference (Spicy)

Cockapoos (Medium)






Grammy fashion (Mild)


















I was hard pressed to turn any of these topics into something writing-oriented, however. But then I stumbled onto Google Suggest's Search Trends feature, and typed in "How to Write." That's when I hit paydirt.

It turns out that in the last twelve months, the most-searched-for article about writing fiction on the Internet was How to write a Bestseller by Maeve Binchy.

Maeve Binchy is one of my personal icons. And this article about her is a gold mine. I feel lucky to have dug it up. It's...hot.

It turns out that Maeve, who has sold a gazillion bestsellers, has just published a how-to book about how to write bestsellers. It's called The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club (published by Orion). According to the article by John Spain, the book evolved from a writing course that Maeve contributed to at the National College of Ireland in Dublin.


Aside from fiction, the number one most-searched-for writing article overall was one about how to write...iPhone applications.

No surprise there. Those writers are probably already making a bazillion dollars without writing any books at all. (That's BAH-zillion, since our zillions are getting inflated these days by TARP economics).

And that thought leaves me cold.

38 comments:

  1. Great article Kathryn. I'm off to buy Maeve's book.

    And it's an interesting idea to Google hot articles.

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  2. Thanks, Sarah! It sounds fantastic. I'm going to get it too. Sounds like a keeper for one's writer's library.

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  3. I like the fact that Maeve calls writing for men "block-lit". Very cool. Oh, and Kathryn, you're only allowed to use "gazillion" once per post. :-)

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  4. Hah! Good point Joe. I changed the second one to BAzillion dollars. In the era of tarp economics, what's a Bazillion, anyway?

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  5. Google is such a valuable tool, even a commodity in this our modern world. Don't know what I'd do without now.

    On the other hand below is a link I simply have to share because it is something that became the foundational block in my sense of humour therefore influencing everything I say or write in some way.

    Before there was The Monty Python show for me, there was the Carol Burnette show. And the scene in this linked video started it all.

    http://stonekettlestation.blogspot.com/2009/02/single-funniest-moment-in-tv-history.html

    Oh...and Maeve's book rocks.

    and a Bazillion is a 1 with 137 zeros...er sump'm lyk 'at.

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  6. Thank you for sharing that link, Basil! That truly made my morning! I still remember the one where Carol comes down the staircase wearing the curtain rods. How she pulled that off with a straight face I will never know!

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  7. It is my pleasure to serve M'Lady....

    ;-)

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  8. You are one of the most resourceful people I know (well, "e-know") Kathryn and this post proves it!

    great stuff.

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  9. Thank you Camille! Necessity is the mother of resourcefulness, in my case!

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  10. LOL Basil. Great link, thanks. And why can't we talk about A-Rod and the Grammys?

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  11. I honestly don't know how they ever got through a taping of Mama's Family. Or the Carol Bernete show.
    And when Tim fell on the floor, I choked from laughing so hard. My kids and their friends asked me what was so funny.
    Thanks so much Basil for sharing that. I signed up for the videos, and posted a fun one on my blog.

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  12. Oh we can talk Grammys, Michelle! Or is it Grammies? Shows how Hollywood I am! In fact I'm gonna go troll the Internet right now for the worst outfit I can find from the show and update the blog.

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  13. Okay those are some seriously hideous outfits!

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  14. Holy Tacky Love Shack Curtain Fabric Batman!

    My Grammy never dressed like that. Thank God!

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  15. Mine neither, Basil. Okay, I'm such a non-popculture type I don't even KNOW who these people are except for Paris Hilton, and God knows, what the heck is she doing at the Grammys? Does she SING? Quick! Need some catty Joan Rivers-type descriptors for these outfits (except I guess we should spare the first girl because she is obviously pregnant and wearing sneakers 'cause her feet hurt).

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  16. Silver space girl: "These boots are made for walkin', and that's just what I'll do--as soon as I get back to Pluto."

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  17. Pregnant or not, that outfit will cause the Baby Blues.

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  18. to be read with a thick french accent

    "Hello, I am Paris Hilton. I am not French but am talking like the French because my name is Paris and I wear my underwear in public because there is nothing more you can do to me."

    she turns and flips her hair in a b**chy taunt then looks back over her shoulder

    "I fart in your general direction."

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  19. Purrfect Basil (also in a heavy French accent). So Girl Number One (and God, I can't believe I don't know who these Famous People are) must be expecting a Little Boy Blue.
    Needless to say, the E Channel won't be calling me anytime soon!

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  20. Space Chick

    Hello...I'm looking for Captain Kirk...if you see him tell him I remember that night on Bistulla 5...I've been exercising the tentacles in my...oh...well, just tell him his "Squeezy Baby" is in town.

    walks away, swishing hips. Something reaches from beneath tight skirt and straightens it over her shapely form.

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  21. That Captain Kirk--WHAT a space dog! Basil, you are rockin' the blog tonight!

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  22. Big project is done. Cubicle is quiet this afternoon...and brain is rambling.

    :)

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  23. Well, we love good ramblers here, Basil! LOL about Paris Hilton, omigosh, has she overstayed her fifteen minutes or WHAT?

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  24. OK, so even I can see how bad those dresses are. Apparently people depend more on stylists than mirrors these days.

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  25. McKoala, the koala in your Blogger picture was better dressed than those women!

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  26. Mais, bien sur. The Koala has a keen sense of style.

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  27. (Dredging deep for fashion recall). My understanding is that starlets (and singers, I don't know, are they the same thing?) who use stylists tend to tilt toward overly safe choices in fashion. It's the people who make their own fashion decisions who commit the major sins. For that, we can be thankful. Where else could we ge such great photos to make fun of?

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  28. I want to see Koala at next year's Grammy's!

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  29. Sadly, The Koala is something of a recluse. That, of course, is extremely fashionable.

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  30. That's It! Great Idea Kathryn!

    Maybe Paris should where a nighty made of live Koalas next year.

    That would be so fashionable.

    Unless she farts...then the Koalas get mad and scatter. Except for the one nearest the blast zone who passes out.

    Then the world is amazed watching Paris walk demurely through the theatre trying to cover her nakedness with a floppy passed out Koala.

    And the Koala suddenly wakes up as the papparazi cameras flash in its eyes and it screams a little Koala scream YEEEEEEEE!! and leaps onto Paris' head from where it refuses to leave.

    And the whole time she somehow keeps that look on her face that says

    "I'm Paris Hilton, I'm calm, I'm hot, I'm haughty...there's nothing more you can do to me."

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  31. Basil, I'm really trying to think how to top that, and can't! But I don't think we'll get McKoala's Koala to participate, Being a recluse and all. Like the great Greta Garbo, Koala's mantra must be, "I vant to be alone!"

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  32. The Koala certainly does not vant to be hanging around Paris Hilton's nether regions.

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  33. Understandable. Koala has standards, after all!

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  34. Wow. That'll teach me to miss reading the blog for a day!

    My idea of fashion is clean jeans and maybe a new sweater. I guess that wouldn't make the Grammys. But then again, I can't sing either, so I guess it doesn't matter!

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  35. Hah! Joyce, we were on a roll yesterday! But I do think jeans and a sweater would be better a much better choice than some of the fashion "don'ts" that we see on the red carpet! But you hardly ever see writers on the red carpet (well maybe screen writers, but no cares what they're wearing), so they won't be consulting me!

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  36. And we thought the swan dress from years past was bad. Okay, it was, but these are right up there.

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  37. My fashionista daughter explained to me with a sniff that Bjork's (or was it Bork's? Pork's) swan dress was supposed to be ironic. I of course would not recognize ironic fashion if it reached around and bit me on the ass. Especially coming from a swan.

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  38. If an ironic swan bit you in the ass you'd probably not be too concerned about what it was wearing, so much as "WIll you fit in my oven for Christmas dinner?"

    Just sayin'

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