Twitter names top topics for 2009

Iran's fraught election, the demise of Michael Jackson and Google Wave were the dominant topics on microblogging service Twitter this year.

2009 has seen Twitter go from strength to strength. It has been slammed for being a conduit for inane comment 'just cleaned my teeth' and some have seen its 140-character posts as marking the beginning of civilisation's decline into semi-literacy.

But there is no doubt that it has caught the imagination of the masses, being used to mobilise protests and get information out to the world from politically-charged and freedom-limited countries.

Politics, gossipy entertainment and tech goodies are all well-tweeted arenas, but it was Iran's election that topped the service, according to a blog by Twitter researcher Abdur Chowdhury this morning.

"Among all the keywords, hashtags, and phrases that proliferated throughout the year, one topic surfaced repeatedly," Chowdhury wrote. "Twitter users found the Iranian elections the most engaging topic of the year. The terms #iranelection, Iran and Tehran were all in the top-21 of Trending Topics, and #iranelection finished in a close second behind the regular weekly favourite #musicmonday."

Interestingly, in the tech realm where Google Wave was the consistent high ranker, Apple's Snow Leopard - basically an OS update dressed up an entirely operating system - beat out Microsoft's much-hyped Windows 7 release as a trending topic.

News Events

1. #iranelection

2. Swine Flu

3. Gaza

4. Iran

5. Tehran

6. #swineflu

7. AIG

8. #uksnow

9. Earth Hour

10. #inaug09


1. Michael Jackson

2. Susan Boyle

3. Adam Lambert

4. Kobe (Bryant)

5. Chris Brown

6. Chuck Norris

7. Joe Wilson

8. Tiger Woods

9. Christian Bale

10. A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez)


1. Harry Potter

2. New Moon

3. District 9

4. Paranormal Activity

5. Star Trek

6. True Blood

7. Transformers 2

8. Watchmen

9. Slumdog Millionaire

10. G.I. Joe

TV Shows

1. American Idol

2. Glee

3. Teen Choice Awards

4. SNL (Saturday Night Live)

5. Dollhouse

6. Grey's Anatomy

7. VMAS (Video Music Awards)

8. #bsg (Battlestar Galatica)

9. BET Awards

10. Lost


1. Super Bowl

2. Lakers

3. Wimbledon

4. Cavs (Cleveland Cavaliers)

5. Superbowl

6. Chelsea

7. NFL

8. UFC 100

9. Yankees

10. Liverpool


1. Google Wave

2. Snow Leopard

3. Tweetdeck

4. Windows 7

5. CES

6. Palm Pre

7. Google Latitude

8. #E3

9. #amazonfail

10. Macworld

Hash Tags

1. #musicmonday

2. #iranelection

3. #sxsw

4. #swineflu

5. #nevertrust

6. #mm

7. #rememberwhen

8. #3drunkwords

9. #unacceptable

10. #iwish