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September 29, 2003

Vox Google, News at the Ranch

Posted by Mike on September 29, 2003 1:13 PM

New silly feature: the Zeitgeist Page.

What's it do?

Every hour a script parses the logs for queries from Google, Yahoo!, Lycos, and other search engines, and prints up a page of those queries, with the text sized by frequency. At the moment I'm noticing "fire rumsfeld," "sex slave trade," "tolkien beowulf" and "filthy critic dead" are all relatively popular. The script is courtesy Jim Flanagan's MovableType Zeitgeist Plugin. Clicking on the queries, by the way, takes you to the relevant entry. Iceblog, edblog, PuddingTime!, and the Generator are all included.

Call this the last gasp of summer: Classes are starting again, and though I'm not carrying a heavy load, it's heavy enough with other projects I've got to contend with. It'll be impossible to not post because "next November" has once again attained the status of "drawing urgently near" and "too far off to bear," but I suspect my longer writing is going to be turning up on Stork.

Finally, if you've got to add one horse race analysis tool to your election year arsenal, make it They seem to get poll results up faster than AP and Reuters can repackage them and get them out on the wires, and there's a lot of fun to be had figuring out what all the numbers mean. It's all too early for any of it to make sense, but you'll thank me in six months when you're running from cubicle to cubicle yelling "Bush lost two points among women from New England, but he's up one in undecided's from the southwest! " at your grateful and impressed coworkers.

Or, if you work at home like me, you can just turn the lights down really low and sit in the dark, chuckling malignly at how well your plan is progressing.