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Comparing the tech world to the Kardashians: an experiment in online popularity

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CNET compares popular gadgets and tech icons using a new method of measuring online popularity: the "Kardashian," or how popular a particular term is compared to the total number of search results the model generates.

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No one can deny Kim Kardashian is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry, but how does her popularity compare to that of our favorite gadgets? Ethan Zuckerman's recently coined "Kardashian" represents the measurement for "the amount of global attention Kim Kardashian commands across all media over the space of a day. CNET decided to compare some popular gadgets and people from the tech world to the (in)famous model/actress using Google Insights for Search. The conclusion? While a gadget like the new Samsung Galaxy S III only produces about five-percent of the search engine buzz of Kim Kardashian, the mythical next-generation iPhone generates a relatively huge 1.8 Kardashians. But the popularity of even the most hotly-rumored gadgets pales in comparison to that of Steve Jobs, who garnered a whopping 14 Kardashians around the time of his passing. Whether the Kardashian will become a standard unit of popularity is up in the air, but it's safe to say this is a good indication that the popularity of tech will definitely continue to grow in the future.