If the Indians cannot come to Google then Google sends a bus to the Indians. Not the Universal Serial Bus for all you digital thinkers out there. Google actually has a bus that’s been traveling around in India, teaching people, well, how to Google stuff. Technically speaking it’s all about showing Indian people how the Internet is a platform to step into the digital world. In one case, after visiting the bus and discovering the power of the Internet, an elderly couple bought a computer so they could video chat across the seas with their son. Thanks to the bus, more Indians are now Googling for cricket scores – cricket happens to be the world’s second most popular sport, after soccer.
And what exactly are people in India searching? It turns out a significant number are looking up Sarah Palin and Michael Jackson. But the top search there was the 2009 budget of India. Who knew? The train reservation system was also a top search as was Bhuvan, which means earth, the Indian cousin to Google Earth. In their top ten they’re also searching Windows 7 and Nokia 5800, the phone, music playing, video watching device.
However different we may think Indian people are from us, when the finger hits the keypad they are just as passionate about their movies as we are about ours. Their second most popular search of 2009 is “Kambakkth Ishq.” This happens to be a Bollywood movie (India’s equivalent of Hollywood), with cameo appearances by Sylvester Stallone and Denise Richards. While popular Western “how to” searches may be about how to pimp your Christmas lights or how to bake shortbread, in India they are searching, how to hack, meditate, study, swim and how to kiss.
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