Monday, 19 April 2010

Volcano beats election - people looking for ash news not political policies

UK airspace remains closed and, with a reported 150,000 people stranded abroad, the election is currently not the thing at the forefront of (most) people's minds.

This time last week it was simply unimaginable that European airspace would be shut down as the result of a volcano in Iceland - and with 'Black Swan' events like this people, especially if family members are marooned, have a natural desire to stay on top of the latest information.

Google Insights for Search shows that the public are turning to Search engines - Search trend behaviour is now not about election policies and leaders, it's about volcanos and ash clouds:

Volcano vs election Google Insights for Search trendsGoogle Insights For Search showing more people searching for 'volcano' than 'election'
(click for larger image)

Furthermore, events like the volcano prompt discussion too and Twitter / social platforms are alive with volcano discussion - the tongue in cheek '#ashtag' being used as the hashtag / label for volcano conversation and a continuous trending topic.

Whilst the flight bans remain, in all likelihood the election will continue to come second best on the news agenda and with sunsets like this, the volcano has an attention platform that election candidates could only dream about:

Volcano enhanced sunset over Nottingham (from Facebook)

Hope things get back to normal soon!

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