[Note, I posted originally on this topic eariler in the day, but removed the post due to some errors.]
We can see the reaction to the NSA phone records story by looking at the following BlogPulse trend chart:
I wanted to copare this with the trends from Google trend and plotted the data for 2006:
[legend: blue="national security agency", red="phone records", orange="nsa"]
At first glance, this suggests:
- Where there has been a significant reaction in terms of blog posts about NSA - a related spike has not been seen in searches on Google, similarly for the news space.
- Where there has been a clear upwards trend for NSA in the blogosphere - a related trend has not occurred in the searchosphere.
- The ratio of uses of "NSA" to "National Security Agency" in blog posts is lower than in the search space (i.e. people don't search for "National Security Agency" but they do use it in writing).
While I am prepared to accept 2 and 3 - 1 is not really conclusive. This is because Google Trend search is, relative to the trends from BlogPulse, not really up to date. I carried out these searches on May 14th and the latest day on the Google chart is May 6th.
The more I play with the Google tool, the more I want to complain about the data grphics. Have a look at the above example. What does the horizontal axis indicate? There is a label for April 2006. Is this the start of April (I think so). So what are the following 2 tick marks? They don't appear to be of the same distance. If we assume they are the start of the next 2 months, then this conflicts with the annotations: E in the above chart is a reference to a news article dated May 6th - ok, so perhaps they are having difficulty with associating articles with dates. In addition, as I've mentioned before, no vertical axis? I'd like to drill down on each month, but specifying the month I'm told that there isn't enough data. Why isn't there enough data when it is presented in the year view?
For completeness, here is BoardTracker's chart for NSA: