Saturday, 30 December 2006

Saddam's Execution

Yesterday, Paris Hilton was on the news and Suri Cruise was on top of Yahoo! Buzz.

But that was yesterday, when the world dealt with nonsense. Today, we have politics! The execution of Saddam Hussein brought up a surge of Saddam/Execution related searched online, presumably from the same people usually searching for Suri Cruise pics.

Yahoo!'s top search term is Iraqi TV. People want to see it live, like in the Roman period that those prisoners were fed to the lions (or the more recent Saddam era, where prisoners were also executed in public...).

Iraqi TV, in fact, goes through an interesting process. It used to be mainly a propaganda tool during Saddam's days. One of the channles had movies that were "shown on this channel as they would still be running in theaters in the US and Europe." (in other words: no copyright, thank you. We're Iraqis). It used to show exactly what it showed today - executions of enemies of the regime, military parades, etc.

This brings up two interesting questions, one is political, the other has more to do with web-trends. The political question is pretty obvious - at least to me: has the United States any success in bringing democracy and democractic values to the Middle East? It doesn't seem so. It doesn't seem that in the deep cultural sense of democracy, not only the procedural one, they manage to change the ways. This takes time, and Western Germany (which actually had a brief democratic experience) did not become a democracy in a day - it took it several years to accept the different.

Another question is regarding cyberculture and web-trends. It is clear that the trend of online video sites is important in cyberculture and rising all the time. People spread videos, watch them online, and can see things in action. So many people are looking for Saddam's execution video - why? Because they love the gore? Because deep inside we're programmed by Hollywood to see the evil guy visually gets it, and not only hear about it?

Interesting Related Links
Alive In Baghdad - video blog with Iraqi voices.

Iraq War a comprehensive review of the war, the reasons to the war, etc.

Outcome of the War predictions...

You can view the execution here

Friday, 29 December 2006

Starting with Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton is hardly a new trend, and one might wonder, why I chose to begin my blg with her; in fact - she's a bit of "so 2005": in 2005, she was so hot, that she was on the top of Lycos' search terms; in 2006, she's only in the fifth place. Same goes for Yahoo!

The girl is soon an unemployed nobody...

On the other hand, don't mourn Hilton yet. She topped the new search on Google for 2006; and today, on the top of today's searches on Wordtracker (see links on your left-hand bar). On Wikipedia, she draws so much interest, that her article had to be protected, something the Wikipeds usually reserve for hot political issues like Zionism or hot controversies in the ueber-geek community ("Slashdot is so not Paris Hilton!"). She is still an influential trend setter.

Hilton means big business, not hotel business. reports that:
Hilton has forged an empire that trades simply – and very successfully – on her name and fame. Last year alone, the pint-sized socialite reportedly pulled in more than $260m from her rapidly expanding business ventures
She considers herself "a businesswoman and a brand".

Indeed so. Just check The Paris Industries on Amazon or her products on eBay.

Not only that she makes money, but others revenue from that brandname. For example, businesses she mentions or visited are becoming popular. People want to know, for example, where she bought her dog, Tinkerbell. Take this very entertaining example (click to enlarge):

It's not that she doesn't have her adversaries. Lilly Allen, herself the product of another hot 2006 trens - MySpace - is reported to have said that "Buyer of Hilton's album should be killed"

Her fame has several other interesting consequenes. For example, when one wants to attract attention online, a sure way might be to (ab)use her name. Blip-Tv search on HIlton has top public-domain results, none of which actually includes Hilton.

A Few More Hilton Links