Alex Steer

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When do people start planning for Thanksgiving?

254 words | ~1 min

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA and for Americans everywhere. So to celebrate, despite the fact that keyword tracking is at the nursery end of computational linguistics, let's see when people start searching for and talking about Thanksgiving online.

Google searches (suggesting people are getting down to some planning) start to rise in early October, then spike into mid-November. The long view first:

Google Trends - thanksgiving - Sept-Nov 2009

And the November close-up:

Google Trends - thanksgiving - Nov 2009

Unexpectedly, the holiday season got off to a similarly start on blogs, with the first spike in early October, according to Nielsen Blogpulse.

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Finally, Twitter exploded into life at the start of this week.

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A plausible explanation for these trends would be that early planners start preparing for ThanksgivingĀ in early/mid October, and blogs update their content to cater for (and reflect the interests of) this group. Most people get around to thinking about Thanksgiving by mid-November, as reflected in the upsurge of searching and blogging. Understandably, the Thanksgiving greetings and excited pre-Thanksgiving chatter on Twitter don't kick in until a few days before the event.

Happy Thanksgiving, Americans.

# Alex Steer (27/11/2009)