Gen Wise Perspective

Gen Y's perspective (pun intended) on our journey through work, life, and everything in between.

What exactly is a “trend”?

In one of the first posts on our blog, Jackie asked what the term “social” really even meant. With yesterday’s Mashable article about the top trends of 2010 being released, it lead me to think. What really makes something a trend?

The first place I decided to look was the good ole’ fashioned dictionary (well actually, the digital version. I know I know, sign of the times). Trend is defined as, “to tend to take a particular direction; extend in some direction indicated.” In the world of social media, a trend is when a topic becomes so popular that it is the most talked about, tweeted about, and buzzed about thing on the internet.

Based on the Mashable data, the top 5 trends of the year were:

  1. Gulf Oil Spill
  2. FIFA World Cup
  3. Inception
  4. Haiti Earthquake
  5. Vuvuzela

Although I was happy Justin Bieber wasn’t number one (even if he came in at number eight) it was still an interesting mix of trends. It’s amazing what ideas will bring people together. From the Gulf Oil Spill to the glorious sound of the Vuvuzela, there were definitely a lot of opinions about the year’s biggest events. But does one hot topic necessarily mean that something is a trend? I feel that a trend should have strong enough staying power that it can be in history books years after it is talked about. Some trends on Twitter last a day, sometimes only an hour. Some are trending for weeks. I feel the top 5 are strong enough to be put in a history book with some sort of relevance to this year.

For a trend to stay strong, the amount of content and information that is being shared must be strong, informative, and relevant. If it’s not, your trend will be knocked out by the next news idea. Or by Justin Bieber.

What are your thoughts on trends? Do you think the top 5 of the year are justified?

In other trends news, check out some Twitter trends that made me laugh.



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