Web surfing
Photo: Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock
Sometimes my couch surfing annoys my wife. Most nights after dinner, we watch a little television together. While her attention is fully on the program du jour, I always divide my time between television and computer. If I were a betting man, I'd wager that this coming Sunday night won't be any different.

Based on findings from market research firm In-Stat, I'm not alone. An estimated 66.3 million Americans are simultaneously using their computers while watching television (I just shared that stat with my wife in hopes of buying more keyboard time).

By looking at search term traffic surrounding the 82nd Academy Awards®, this could be the perfect time to partake in Internet-television multitasking. Well in advance of its airdate, we're already seeing substantial search volume on the upcoming Academy Awards. What are people looking for?

Top 10 "Academy Awards" Search Topics:
  1. Academy Award Nominations
  2. When are the Academy Awards
  3. Academy Award Predictions
  4. Past Academy Awards
  5. Academy Awards Red Carpet
  6. Academy Awards Gift Bags
  7. Academy Awards Host
  8. Academy Awards Party Recipes
  9. Academy Awards Dresses
  10. Academy Awards Tickets
Source: Experian Hitwise
If you're looking for a valuable resource while watching the awards, the sites most visited after searching on "Academy Awards" provide a starting point. More than 30 percent of Internet users who search for the big event end up at the official site, Oscars.com. It's interesting to note that in terms of search, "Academy Awards" consistently has 10 percent more searches that "Oscars."

Beyond the official site, Wikipedia is the most-accessed website. While there has been significant coverage regarding the accuracy of Wikipedia entries, looking up facts and figures about Hollywood is a pretty low-risk activity. If you want a quick background on an actor or a movie, visiting the social encyclopedia is a great option.

As we get closer to the awards show, one of the most popular sites on Oscar night will be the Internet Movie Database (IMDB.com). By simply typing in the name of an actor, you get a brief bio and links to all of the other movies that actor has appeared in. This is the site I use the most when my wife or a guest invariably asks, "What other movies has she been in?" or "What was the name of the movie that he was in about..."
Another great source for awards' trivia is the Academy's own database, which you can access at the Oscars Awards Database.

One of the more telling stats is which website (beyond Google) sends the most traffic to ABC's official Oscar page. And the winner goes to...Facebook at 7.5 percent. This is a sign that even the Academy Awards has gone social.

I have to wrap this up now; my wife is giving me dirty looks—the Bachelor is about to propose to some woman getting out of a helicopter. Along with the other virtues of Internet connectivity, I've found that couch surfing can be a great escape mechanism. If you're one of the people who searched on, "When is the Academy Awards?" it's this Sunday, March 7, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

Bill Tancer is an Internet trend analyst, columnist and author of the New York Times best-seller Click—What Millions Do Online and Why It Matters .


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