The Science of Buzz

David Zax, for Fast Company, on New York Magazine’s new Vulture Anticipation Index, which attempts to use science to compile a list of trends people are talking about.

It’s all about anticipation–once the event has passed, once the movie is out, once the concert has been performed, Vulture loses interest. What the thing was isn’t of interest to the Anticipation Index, and is best left to those sorry, rearward-looking people known as critics. The Index only cares about what will be.

The index uses flames to denote sharply trending topics; arrows to denote ones precipitously falling off the radar of buzzworthiness. “We are thrilled to power Vulture’s smart parsing of the social web, said Trendrr founder Mark Ghuneim in a release. “The Anticipation Index is pure info porn.”

Seems sort of pointless though. Isn’t that what Twitter Trends are for? It’s also things like the Anticipation Index that gives the internet its death by a thousand shallow posts vibe.

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