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Digital Cameras v. Nigeria

One of my guiding theories of the modern media / advertising landscape is that the extensive real time surveillance of consumers by online advertisers and content providers encourages the growth of content about digital cameras (the content about which is easily monetized) at the expense of hard news, especially international news about developing countries like Nigeria.

The following google insights chart of digital camera v. Nigeria searches over time strikes a blow against that theory:

Of course, this data say nothing about the amount of content produced about the respective topics, but the whole point of the google insights tool (which is targeted at advertisers) is to tell advertisers and content providers what sorts of content consumers are interested in. Content about digital cameras is likely still more profitable, since digital camera ad clicks presumably pay more than Nigeria ad clicks, but the decline in digital camera searches is still striking. It’s possible that this trend is merely the result of declining interest in digital cameras (which is surprising), but the fact that searches about Nigeria have not decreased over time is interesting in itself. Quick checks of similar comparisons show that consumer product content is more popular than hard news content, but that there is no accelerating trend in that direction.

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