Buzz Index Movers
Thursday, September 20, 2001  
How the Buzz Index Works
Every day, Yahoo! determines which subjects hold the most interest for Yahoo! visitors by ranking subjects by their buzz score. A subject's buzz score is the percentage of users searching for that subject on a given day, multiplied by a constant to make the number easier to read.

Movers are the subjects that have increased their buzz score over the previous day's score by the greatest percentage. Leaders are the subjects with the greatest buzz score for a given day.

All the rankings on the Buzz Index -- both movers and leaders -- are updated each weekday and reflect the traffic from two days earlier. For example, Wednesday's Buzz Index reflects Monday's searches and clicks. (Twenty-four hours are required to process data and verify results.)

For more detailed information, visit the FAQ.

Movers > Overall
Rank Subject   1-Day Move
1   Breakout! 60
2 Lynn Thomas   1764.25% 60
3 Nimda Virus   1318.19% 44
4 Late Show with David Letterman   969.94% 32
5 Kelly Ripa   878.75% 29
6 Dan Rather   680.66% 23
7 Code Red Worm   364.19% 12
8 Holy War   344.61% 11
9 New York Mets   314.91% 10
10 Regis Philbin   248.83% 8

1. - search increase of Breakout! is the online component of the American Liberty Partnership, which counts as its members six of the largest Internet-based companies, and is a September 11 victim fund. The companies are, AOL Time Warner, Cisco Systems, eBay, Microsoft and Yahoo! On September 18, a week after the attacks on the World Trade Center, George Bush held a ceremony in the Rose Garden. In it, he named as the place to go for citizens who wish to help, resulting in the spike in searches.

2. Lynn Thomas - search increase of 1764.25%. Lynn (or Linn) Thomas has the distinction of being the only woman to appear as a monthly featured woman both as a Playboy Bunny and a Penthouse Pet. Again, showing the relationship between the broadcast mediums, the reason why she spiked on this particular day was due to her appearance September 18 on the Howard Stern Show on E! Entertainment Television.

3. Nimda Virus - search increase of 1318.19%. This is a computer virus that self-propagates using a mass-mailing component that allows it to spread very quickly. It attempts to infect networks with the Code Red-like virus, which had caused damage in August 2001. The reason the searches for the virus increased on this day is that September 18 was the release date of the virus.

4. Late Night with David Letterman - search increase of 969.94%. Since 1993, David Letterman has hosted an eleven' o'clock nightly talk show on CBS. The reason for the spike in searches was that the night of September 17 was his first show back since the attacks. In lieu of a monologue, Letterman spoke to the audience from behind the desk about the attacks. The show also featured an emotional guest appearance by CBS anchorman Dan Rather.

5. Kelly Ripa - search increase of 878.75%. Although Ripa is only 31, she is an 11-year veteran soap actress on All My Children, and last year became co-host of a morning talk show with Regis Philbin. She was selected to be the replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford, who left to pursue other things, after an extensive and nationwide search. September 18 marked the first day that the show, "Live with Regis and Kelly," returned to the air. As far as I can tell, the reason for the spike in searches for her name was due at least in part to the red, white and blue dress that she wore as a show of patriotism.

6. Dan Rather - search increase of 680.66%. Dan Rather has been the most visible face of CBS News since taking over the head anchorman position from Walter Cronkite. He also heads the news magazine 48 Hours as well as being a contributor to 60 Minutes II. As noted above, Rather appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and broke down crying a number of times, leading to the increase in the number of searches performed with this name. At the time, some questioned his impartiality as a result of the incident.

7. Code Red Worm - search increase of 364.19%. The Code Red Worm is related to the Nimda virus, which is listed before. As noted above, it is with a virus similar to Code Red that the Nimda virus uses to infect networks with. Although the Code Red Worm is older than September 18, the increase in searches for it on this day is most likely related to its relationship with the Nimda virus. In October, it was announced that Code Red had been replaced by Nimda as a threat.

8. Holy War - search increase of 344.61%. In the West, the words "Holy War" and jihad are used interchangeably. It most often refers to the belief by Westerners that some Muslims believe they are taught by the Koran, their holy book, to wage war against their enemies to spread their religion. To the majority of Muslim scholars, however, the word "jihad" means struggling or striving and applies to any effort exerted by anyone. Nonetheless, the term and usage persists, in part because of how the media uses it and in part because of the way that some Muslims embrace the bloodier interpretation. The reason for the spike in searches for the words illustrates the search for understanding about who carried out the September 11 attack and why.

9. New York Mets - search increase of 314.91%. All of the New York sports teams expressed their grief and appreciation for the work done by the rescue workers throughout the rest of the season. The New York Mets played their first game since the attacks on September 17 in Pittsburgh (The Mets home stadium was still being used for the relief efforts). The Mets wore caps honoring the New York firefighters and policemen and flags on their uniforms. The caps are now in the Hall of Fame to commemorate the event. The next day, September 18, recorded the resultant surge in interest in the team.

10. Regis Philbin - search increase of 248.83%. Regis Philbin hosts the popular daytime talk show "Live with Regis and Kelly." On Monday, September 17, as noted above, he appeared as a guest on "Late Night with David Letterman," and the next day Philbin interviewed workers at Ground Zero during the live telecast. The combination of these two factors caused the increase in searches for Regis.


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