Friday, July 28, 2006

Popularity of Birding

In an earlier post, I used the online technology of BlogPulse to examine the frequency with which birding was mentioned in blog postings relative to 24 other types of outdoor activities. In nearly all comparisons, birding fared poorly. I recently discovered a new product being developed by Google called Google Trends that tracks how frequently a favorite topic (such as birding) has been searched for on Google over time (since early 2004), how frequently it has appeared in Google News stories, and which geographic regions (cities) have searched for it most often. Using Google Trends as a tool, I here illustrate the relative popularity of birding compared to (1) fishing and hunting, (2) camping and hiking, (3) boating and kayaking, (4) canoeing and rock climbing, (5) jogging and rafting, (6) biking and golfing (7) surfing and swiming, (8) sailing and skiing, (9) snorkeling and snowmobiling, (10) gardening and whale watching, (11) cave exploration and hang gliding, (12) beachcombing and sunbathing, and finally (13) naturism and nudism. According to Google Trends, birding is more popular than snowmobiling, cave exploration, hang gliding, and beachcombing; equally as popular as canoeing, golfing, snorkeling, whale watching, and sunbathing; and less popular than the other 15 activities examined. In general, then, the results are similar to those that I reported earlier using BlogPulse.


Blogger John B. said...

One can write about birding without actually using the word, which is harder to do with some of the other activities. I think that a better indicator might be the popularity of I and the Bird. I don't think most of those activities have a community blog carnival.

July 28, 2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger John L. Trapp said...

You make a good point about the popularity of "I and the Bird." But I think you miss the bigger point. Google Trends tracks not how often a key word is being written about, but the relative frequency with which people are searching Google for that key word. The truth remains that birding appeared as a search term less frequently (i.e., there was less interest express in it by the public) than 15 of the 26 other outdoor activities that I examined. Also, a search on bird or birds will return results that deal with many other aspects of birds besides birding.

July 31, 2006 8:19 AM  

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