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Summary:

YouTube is playing around with real-time comment search in the vein of web darling Twitter. The new YouTube “test tube” feature provides a continuously updating list of current comments on the site and surfaces popular overlaps of conversation as trending topics. Being that YouTube is such […]

YouTube is playing around with real-time comment search in the vein of web darling Twitter. The new YouTube “test tube” feature provides a continuously updating list of current comments on the site and surfaces popular overlaps of conversation as trending topics.

ytrocks

Being that YouTube is such a popular site, it’s quite possible that a live-updated list of trending topics (a sampler: “flashing lights,” “danny gokey it’s only,” “kitten” and “lloyd doggett”) could give us a sense of the cultural zeitgeist. But YouTube comments can’t escape their reputation for being particularly silly and nonsensical (case in point: this excellent McSweeney’s feature: “YouTube comment or e.e. cummings?“).

ytsucks

So — not to be snarky, I swear! — on Friday I ran a little test, searching YouTube comments for real-time mentions of the terms “sucks” and “rocks.” I actually had to do this multiple times, as it turns out YouTube stops counting after it crosses 100 new comments. But in almost exactly an hour, I was able to get a very unscientific window into the sentiment of the general YouTube population.

1:44 p.m.: Started near-simultaneous searches for “sucks” and “rocks”

1:54 p.m.: 10 minutes in, “rocks” has 15 fresh entries and “sucks” has 21.

2:14 p.m.: The split is widening; 41 “rocks” to 59 “sucks.”

2:34 p.m.: 65 “rocks,” 87 “sucks”

2:44 p.m.: Sucks has crossed 100, and now says “More than 101 comments since you started searching.” Rocks” is dragging with just 74.

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  1. Haha.

    Though, to be fair, there are many common ways to voice approval…”rules,” “awesome,” and so on. But “sucks” seems to be the most common way someone would disapprove of something.

  2. Chris Matthews on Obama’s State of the Union: Whoops? Thursday, January 28, 2010

    [...] find a complex discussion of race relations as they relate to our nation’s 44th president in that font of intelligent discourse: YouTube [...]

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