Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Do the math

That coat looks kinda brown
Yes, I know on my last blog I promised you postulations on the Google search results 'tomorrow' but I've been ill and busy in the meantime. But I'm back now, with added phlegm. So straight into the stats. As you will see from the table in 'News from the 'Verse', Google shows a fair amount of pages devoted to Firefly, Buffy, etc. Now before we go any further, and because we are who we are, let me note the following:


1. The number of pages returned on a Google search does NOT necessarily represent the popularity or otherwise of anything
2. The shows and movies being compared differ in many respects not least the amount of time since release and numbers of follow-ups/sequels/prequels
3. Stats can be made to show anything
4. All the calculations are 'real' because I know you will check them

So you keep saying, Professor!
The first thing to note is - Star Wars TV series - who knew that was coming out next year? A new sci-fi series...interesting. But enough digressing, already! According to my calculations, Star Wars is only 4.5 times more popular than Serenity.
How do we get that figure? Well, the raw data shows that 'Star Wars Movie' vs 'Serenity Movie' gives:
1780000 / 66500 = 26.8

However, there have been six Star Wars movies released so we can divide the original Star Wars figure by 6 so now:
(1780000/6) / 66500 = 4.5

That is a stunning result! Star Wars is one of the most successful franchises of all time, netting altogether about US $4.3 billion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars ). And the first one was released 22 years ago, as opposed to 3 years ago for Serenity. Now the Internet has not been around in it's present form for all of the 22 years but you can bet you bottom dollar that some of the first web pages were about Star Wars. Certainly some of the first newsgroups were.

But what does it mean?
Of course, it means nothing. But if you can accept the dodgy premises of the calculations (come on - you can suspend your disbelief for Luke - use the Force!) it shows us that for every page written about Star Wars, there is almost a quarter of a page written about Serenity. And that gives me a new hope. With popularity like that, a new Star Wars TV series to come next year and Joss back with a new Fox show, things are looking better than they have for a long time. Probably.

Isn't it 'maths'?
I still can't quite get my head around saying 'math' instead of 'maths' - I'm from England so you'll just have to excuse me. I'm over the physical pain part when I say it, but it still doesn't seem right. But I'm in Canada now, so I must adjust. But however you say it, we mustn't be scared by the concept of math. I was for a long time (before I embraced my inner-geek), but now numbers are my friend. Just don't ask me to do any of Skytopia's impossible math questions http://www.skytopia.com/project/imath/imath.html.

Will Wheaton?
Wil hasn't updated his blog for a few days so we're going to have to assume he's taking his doctor's orders seriously and resting up. I haven't heard anymore re the Grauman's lineup and I'm still waiting for Star Wait, but all good things....