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2009: the Year of Twitter

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Nov 30, 2009
The year has not yet ended but Microsoft says "Twitter" was among the top searches of 2009 on its new search engine Bing and a company which monitors language has crowned it the top word of the year.

Microsoft, in a blog post late Sunday, said "Michael Jackson," "Twitter and "Swine Flu" were the top three search topics of the year on Bing.

Others making the list of top 10 Bing searches were "Stock Market," "Farrah Fawcett," the actress who died in June, "Patrick Swayze," the actor who died in September, and "Jaycee Dugard," the California girl kidnapped at the age of 11 who turned up alive 18 years later.

Microsoft said it had analyzed billions of search queries to come up with the list.

Global Language Monitor (GLM), a Texas-based company which analyzes and tracks language trends, said meanwhile that "Twitter" was the "Top Word of 2009."

"In a year dominated by world-shaking political events, a pandemic, the after effects of a financial tsunami and the death of a revered pop icon, the word Twitter stands above all the other words," said GLM president Paul Payack.

Other top words on the GLM list included "Obama," "Stimulus," "Vampire" and "Deficit."

GLM said it uses a "proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the media and on the Internet" to compile its rankings.

It said words are tracked in relation to "frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets, factoring in long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum and velocity."

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British press group launches charges for online news
London (AFP) Nov 30, 2009
A British newspaper group started charging for online content on Monday in a groundbreaking experiment which will be closely watched by an industry battling falling advertising revenues. Johnston Press is charging readers of three of its regional publications five pounds (5.50 euros, 8.25 dollars) for three months of complete web access. The websites of another three of the group's title ... read more







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