A couple years ago, in a post called “Stuff White People Google,” I showed which Google search patterns were most highly correlated with the representation of different race/ethnic groups in the Census. That was a much better post than this.
This is a moment-of-White followup.
Here are Whites, by county, from this tool:
Here are the searches for “back in black,” from Google Correlate:
And here is the correlation between searches for “back in black” and searches for “kitten pictures,” by state:
The scales are normed to a mean of 0 and standard deviation of 1 by Google, I think. I made the graph in Stata with this command (which I’m putting here because I always forget this syntax):
gr twoway scatter backinblack kittenpictures, mlabel(state) mlabposition(0) msymbol(i)
So, if it is Whites doing the searching for “back in black” and “kitten pictures,” is it possible that the searches are going on in the same households with some kind of gender division?
Don’t let that selectively-chosen picture fool you. According to the Alexa web traffic site, visitors to acdc.com skew only slightly male. And Facebook tells me I can reach a mostly- but not overwhelmingly-male mix of 3 million women versus 4 million men if I target people with an interest in AC/DC for an ad. (However, if people Googling AC/DC are looking for guitar tabs, maybe it’s the intersection of guitar and AC/DC as interests that matter.)
On the other hand, cuteoverload.com, which is loaded with kitten pictures, skews strongly female, and Facebook tells me that “cat pictures” as an interest will attract women more than men at a ratio of 4-to-1 (much more skewed than the general interest in cats: 1.5-to-1).
Anyway, this might not be the best case. I wonder what other examples there might be of a specific group (e.g., Whites) being divided between men who have a uniquely strong interest in something (AC/DC) and women who have a uniquely strong interest in something else (kitten pictures), with low overlap between the genders. That would be neat – intersectionality seen in Google search patterns.
Anyway, it’s time for another year of graduate student admissions. If you or someone you know like playing with data and making graphs, pursuing hunches about social patterns (more or less important than the ones here), and reading and writing a lot, maybe you or your friend should be in next year’s pile of applications.