Thursday, October 13, 2011

Steve Jobs is bigger than Michael Jackson

Remember in 2009 when Michael Jackson died, broke the internet, and the entire rest of the summer was filled with people playing his music? Well I remember at the time checking out the spike in searches for "Michael Jackson" and seeing it indeed exceeded any single event I could think of, including Obama in November '08.

Google Trends data: interest in Michael Jackson trumped Obama on election day and inauguration

Well, this last week I got notified of Steve Jobs' death by two different groups of friends within an hour and then realized the trouble I'd had accessing Wikipedia earlier that night happened exactly when the news broke. I thought "is this going to be a mini-Michael Jackson thing?" Turns out, it's not a "mini" one:

Google Insights for Search data: Obama, Michael Jackson, and Steve Jobs' spike.
Steve Jobs' is so recent it's squashed over to the right but look closely at the top of that peak.

I found it interesting to see that it's not just people over in the tech world who find this to be hugely significant news.

Postscript: The point of this post isn't to comment on the actual event. First, of primary importance is the fact that a man died after fighting a terrible disease, which is sad for him and his family. Second, to be clear, despite having significant problems with Apple, I'm honestly quite worried about the future of computers without Apple pushing everyone to make better and better devices. They have problems with openness, but Google, Microsoft, and everyone else has a problem with making things intuitive, tasteful, and above everything, useable. Apple pushes the rest to be better.

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