Entries in google (2)


Martin (and Taylor) guitars, the seasons for bluegrass, and burritos vs. burgers, according to Google Trends

Guitar discussion boards (like the UMGF and Acoustic Guitar Forum) often devolve into brand wars..."What's better...Martin or Taylor?" with fans of each weighing in. I'm not going to get into my preferences (other than saying I've had three from each at various points in the past, and still have at least one of each), and there really isn't an answer to that question anyways. The primary questions I'm musing about here are (a) whether one of these brands has garnered more interest on the internet and (b) has that changed over time?

A third question ties into my ramblings from last week on the prospects of vintage guitars as investments, where I questioned (c) whether there would be continued interest in this instruments over the long haul.

I recently ran across the Google Trends tool...Here are the trends for "martin guitars" and "tayor guitars" (top) and "martin guitar" and "taylor guitar" (bottom):


  • In the top plot, Martin clearly outpaces Taylor until mid-2010 or so. Then things are pretty even. But more interestingly, both are decreasing over time. Does this indicate that people are becoming less interested in these awesome instruments over the last decade?
  • In the bottom one, Martin is higher than Taylor until early 2007, then things are relatively even for a couple of years, and then Taylor takes over. These differences aren't really the product of increasing searches for "taylor guitar"-- that stays relatively flat (or at least doesn't trend one way or another, although it spikes and falls sporadically). Again, it's due to Martin slipping.
  • I did versions of these plots with "gibson guitar(s)" included and Gibson outpaces both, but that's likely due do the fact they make both acoustic and electric guitars. But Gibson trends downward as well.
  • In the top plot there are regular yearly spikes in December; a holiday gift effect?
  • What's interesting about this is that in the last decade, Martin pumped out more instruments that ever (see here for more data). Even with Martins in the hands of more players than ever, there's less interest in them, at least using this metric. 

In looking at some Martin dreadnoughts, it looks like the D-28 is still king, and that the D-18, D-35, and D-15 are pretty much similarly searched. But the entry-level DX1 comes in second; this speaks to Martin's efforts to expand their market reach with affordable instruments.


Is the guitar become less popular? Maybe a bit, but the "electric guitar" is being hit a bit harder than "acoustic guitar" (this plot clearly shows the December spike).


Here's "acoustic guitar" and "banjo" (note that if you just enter "guitar," it dwarfs "banjo"). They both are relatively flat, just trending downward a bit, and the "martin" downward slope is steeper than the general "acoustic guitar" slope. Also, "banjo" doesn't show the December spike in the same way that "acoustic guitar" does. Kids must not be asking for banjos for Christmas.


This one for "bluegrass" is cool because is so perfectly cyclical. Interest is low in November and then increases through the following summer, peaking in the height of bluegrass festival season in July and August. Then things drop in the fall season.


Just to show that some things have gone up over time, here's "facebook" (the plots for "twitter" and "iphone" are similar).

And here we see "wendys" being passed by "jimmy johns" and "chipotle".


*Note, these analyses were inspired by research by my friends and colleagues Drs. Patrick and Charlotte Markey.


Migrating email with YippieMove

A few months ago I posted about wanting to move my email to a self-administered Google Apps account after deciding that I shouldn't have everything under the thumb of my employer. This is not because I'm worried that my employer will suddenly cut off my email, but a more general sense of wanting consolidate and control my data and online presence. My work email is also hosted by Google Apps (for education), and you'd figure that there should be a good way to move everything over to another Google Apps account without much fuss. There are tools to do this, but I couldn't get any straight answers on whether (a) my email labels would also be migrated over and (b) if a copy of my mail would be retained in my work email account or if everything would be deleted upon migrating. You'd think that copies of the mail would be retained, but the tool suggested by my work is really intended for graduating seniors to get their mail off of their college accounts, so I was concerned that I'd lose all my archived mail if something when wrong in the migration process. So I basically had not made much headway on using new account since I didn't have all my old mail on the new account, until today when I stumbled upon YippieMove.

YippieMove.com is a service that allows migrating of mail between many common email platforms. Importantly, it very specifically stated (the their FAQs) that it would do the two things I mentioned above. The downside is that it costs a one-time fee of $15 to do the migration, but that seems very worthwhile if the process is reliable and fast. So now I'm in the midst of moving the 74,811 107,876 messages that represent my entire email correspondence (at least since I started grad school in 1996) over to my own Google Apps email. 5,392 messages down and sixty-nine thousand and change to go (one hundred and two thousand to go)! So far, things look good; the migrated messages are showing up with their proper labels in my new account. At this pace, things should be done by tomorrow morning.

By the way, the cost involved in this process (in case you want to host your own email):

  • $10 a year for the domain name (although this is something I was already paying for to secure the domain for my "professional" website).
  • $50 a year for the Google Apps account, which comes with (if I'm recalling correctly) 30GB of storage across the various apps.
  • a one-time cost of $15 for the YippieMove migration.*

*Another option I considered was moving all of those messages over to the new account via a mail client on my computer. In theory, I could have both the old and new accounts piped into Apple Mail (or Thunderbird or your client of choice), and manually copy/drag all of the mail from my work account to the new account. Not sure if this would have left a copy on my work email though...But this seemed like a pain in the ass compared to the relatively cheap $15 for YippieMail.

UPDATE (7/8/13): I ran into a few snags with some messages that had "weird" labels (I had created some labels that started with odd symbols) not transfering. YippieMove support was very helpful and we quickly got things squared away and now everything is fully transfered. Thumbs up for YippieMove.com!