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The Year In Review

via Flickr user Allie_Caulfield

Reflect back on 2010 and surely lots of people would agree major news events included the Earthquake in Haiti, the rescue of 33 Chilean miners, the volcanic eruption in Iceland and the Gulf Oil Spill.

But what can we learn about popular passions in 2010 from sources that track – literally – user interests on the web? Here we look at what Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube tallied from us in 2010.

The top “trends” on Twitter this year were, in this order: Gulf Oil Spill, FIFA World Cup, Inception, Haiti Earthquake, Vuvuzela, Apple iPad, Google Android, Justin Bieber, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows and Pulpo Paul.

(Note: More than 100 million new registrants appeared on Twitter this year, including Cher, the Dalai Lama and Tiger Woods, bringing the total number of registered users – whose sentiments were recorded – to 175 million.)

Meanwhile, the top 10 searches on Yahoo were a little more celebrity-focused. They were: BP Oil Spill, World Cup, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, iPhone, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, American Idol, Britney Spears.

A Yahoo web site also lists the past year’s top 10 “obsessions,” which it defines as “a person, a pop-culture phenomenon, a political party, a gadget or a pesty plague that spurred constant online monitoring”. Those are: iPhone, Linsday Lohan, iPad, Glee, Jersey Shore, Facebook, Bedbugs, Tea Party, Silly Bandz and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl.

What about videos on YouTube? When web users searched for video content were they looking for footage of the same subjects that trended on Twitter and were searched on Yahoo? As it turns out, not exactly.

Here’s YouTube’s list of its “fastest-rising search terms”, including one for reach month: Haiti (January), Luge (February), Eclipse trailer (March), iPad (April), Eminem Not Afraid (May), Shakira Waka Waka (June), Double Rainbow (July), Bed Intruder (August), Halo Reach (September), Willow Smith Whip My Hair (October), Katy Perry Firework (November). December is not yet available.

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