Are 1000 Words Worth a Picture?

Of the future, that is? The British blog, cutely named, Royal Pingdom, has measured the frequency of certain terms and buzzwords, using good old Google, and compared it to that for the years since 2004 to uncover possible trends — that glimpse of the future we all seek. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, “’Web 2.0′ peaked in 2007 and has been decreasing in 2008″ and “While the interest for ‘blogging’ hasn’t changed much over the last couple of years, ‘microblogging’ has seen a rapid rise since early 2007 (presumably due to Twitter).”

There’s a surprise or two, though, for me at least: both “RSS” and “RSS feed” peaked in 2005 and have gone on a slight downward trend since then. This, when people are still learning to use it and lawyers are learning to spell it. I wonder if it isn’t one of those technologies that was great but couldn’t get enough widespread traction to survive. It’d be a pity. The other significant result is that “wiki” has seen a steady increase since 2005.


  1. Along the same lines, check out 10×10™ (‘ten by ten’) It is an interactive exploration of the words and pictures that define the time. Every hour, 10×10 collects the 100 words and pictures that matter most on a global scale, and presents them as a single image, taken to encapsulate that moment in time. Each hour is presented as a picture postcard window, composed of 100 different frames, each of which holds the image of a single moment in time. Clicking on a single frame allows us to peer a bit deeper into the story that lies behind the image. In this way, we can dart in and out of the news, understanding both the individual stories and the ways in which they relate to each other. 10×10 runs with no human intervention, autonomously observing what a handful of leading international news sources are saying and showing. 10×10 makes no comment on news media bias, or lack thereof. It has no politics, nor any secret agenda; it simply shows what it finds. Over the course of days, months, and years, 10×10 leaves a trail of these hourly statements which, stitched together side by side, form a continuous patchwork tapestry of our world.

  2. The very opposite end of this scale could be this site, which could make you never trust another picture.

    For a seasonal example, see this

    For a technical question relating to electronic evidence, is there any way to look at the digital record of such a picture and tell that it was doctored? Does Photoshop leave a signature of any kind? What about do-it-yourself modifications? If all you have is the electrons that a computer can be instructed to read as a photo, what can you tell about it?