YouTube Comment Search Battle: “Sucks” Edges Out “Rocks”

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.

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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?“).

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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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