Pope Francis wins the Internet
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor
(CNN) — It’s official: Pope Francis is the most talked about person on the planet.
More folks have been chatting about the popular new pontiff online this year than Edward Snowden, Kate Middleton or even the Internet’s favorite bad girl, Miley Cyrus.
That’s according to the 14th annual survey from the Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based company that trackers top talkers on the web. The GLM says their rankings are based on an analysis of English-language blogs, social media and 275,000 electronic and online news media.
The GLM broke their research into three categories: top words, top phrases and top names.
Besides being the Internet’s top name, the Pope’s Twitter handle, @Pontifex, was the fourth most talked about word thus far in 2013.
The top three words were: “404,” the numeric code for a broken web-page; “fail,” the one-word taunt for all-things unsuccessful; and “Hashtag,” the “#” used to denote topics on Twitter.
Paul JJ Payack, president and “Chief Word Analyst” at GLM says the 404 and “fail” got a big boost from the problematic launch of the Obama administration’s website for purchasing health care under the Affordable Care Act.
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The year’s top phrases also have a negative vibe: “toxic politics;” “federal shutdown;” and “global warming/climate change” took the top three spots.
Somehow, those phrases still seem more optimistic than last year’s most popular phrase: Apocalypse/Armageddon. The End Times fascination probably reflected interest in the failed prophecies of Harold Camping, a doomsday radio preacher who predicted the world would end last year.
Besides the pope, here are the Internet’s other most talked-about proper names in 2013:
3. The National Security Agency
4. Edward Snowden
5. Kate Middleton
5a. “HRH Georgie,” the nickname of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Middelton and Prince William
6. The IRS
7. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
8. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
9. The Tea Party
10. The Boston Marathon bombers
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