Archive for November, 2005

Avian Flu vs. HIV/AIDS

6-Month Trend


Blog posts on the HIV/AIDS epidemic have remained steady over the last six months, ranging between 0.125% and 0.300% of all published weblog messages. There was a brief peak in HIV/AIDS posts in early July that occurred around the time of the Live8 concerts. The proportion of posts on the topic have remained within a relatively stable range over the last four months.

The emergence of avian flu (aka ‘bird flu’) posts occurred in mid-September when the United Nations Health Chief issued a warning about the potential for a deadly pandemic resulting from transmission of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus from fowl to humans. Around the same time, initial reports of avian flu-related deaths in Indonesia emerged. The avian flu posts peaked on November 1st, the day that President Bush announced his initiative to combat the looming pandemic and have since declined by over 50%. Despite the waning interest in recent weeks, the death toll continues to rise as the eighth death attributed to H5N1 in Indonesia was announced earlier today.

Update (12/2/05): The trend was regenerated today because of a technical problem.  As you can see, there was a large spike in HIV/AIDS weblog posts that occurred on December 1st which was World AIDS Day.

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Turkey vs. Stuffing

2-Month Trend


The American Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone and bloggers were discussing their meals. An amazing 4.5% of all weblog posts dealt with turkey on Thanksgiving Day (November 24th). Mom’s stuffing didn’t fare quite as well, mentioned in less than 1% of Thanksgiving blog messages. The small blip in early October occurred at the convergence of the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday and news of avian flu reaching Turkey.

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Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

6-Month Trend


Firefox has had quite a year, gaining a significant share of the web browser user market (approximately 9% of users). Compared with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer which is used by just over 85% of web surfers, the blog buzz has been dominated by Firefox over the last 6 months. Firefox posts had several peaks over this period of time.

  • July 9th – Google Toolbar for Firefox released
  • September 9th – Firefox v1.5 beta released
  • September 21st – Firefox v1.0.7 released
  • October 21st – bloggers discuss the release of the Flock browser

The Firefox buzz was on the rise again today following the release of Firefox v1.5 and we can plan to see a great deal more in the future from both sides with the expected release of Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0 over the next year.

Update (12/02/05): I had to generate the trend again because of a technical failure with the image host. As expected, the buzz surrounding the release of Firefox 1.5 caused a spike in weblog posts. There was a small bump in the proportion of posts discussing IE as well.

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