Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why is Montana so ...?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

What's the first thing you think of to complete that sentence? Wild? Expansive? Badass?

Not sure of your answer? Me neither. I haven't really thought about it. But Renee DiResta has, and she conducted a little experiment.

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The venture capitalist and occasional blogger was curious about common stereotypes. To see how people peg each state, she decided to type in "Why is [state name] so" into her Google search, and let the auto-complete function finish the sentence. The results are provided in an interactive map on her blog, along with some analysis of the results.

How'd Montana come out? Well, we're not boring; a bunch of states had that come up as the first option. But we're also not cheap; apparently Montanans, New Yorkers and Californians, among others, are worried about cost of living.

Here were the top results for Montana from DiResta's experiment:

so windy
so great
so cold
so expensive

Slate notes that Google’s auto-complete answers change over time, so DiResta's results may differ from yours. But I just tried it and also got "windy." (I also got an off-color answer to the question.)

So windy it is. I'll take that, and the other three results, over Utah's or Mississippi's any day.

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