The Couch Surfer: Will anyone 'bing' Robert Pattinson?

Tim Walker: 'Edward Cullen/RPattz was created specifically to drive teenage girls wild'

Related Topics

Last week the web spent about five minutes going totally loopy for a pair of very brief YouTube virals. One is a six-second clip of a yellow Porsche driving down a cobbled street in Italy. The other is also a six-second clip of the yellow Porsche driving down the cobbled street in Italy, from a different angle. That's it: no commentary, no explanation. And they'd both been watched by over 150,000 people in less than 48 hours.

What's the rush? Well, the clips are amateur footage of a scene being shot for New Moon, the second movie in the Twilight series, which stars Robert Pattinson as teen vampire Edward Cullen. You know you've arrived when you've got an internet nickname. For reasons of brevity and my own amusement, I shall henceforth address Pattinson solely by his: "RPattz".

At the Cannes Film Festival's annual Cinema Against AIDS benefit, RPattz auctioned two kisses for $28,000 each, to be planted on the cheeks of the daughters of the winning bidders. Naturally, he's also a musician (with, one grown-woman colleague assures me, "the most beautiful voice in all the world...").

Certain sectors of the internet should only be approached by teenage girls, like netball courts or Topshop; and Edward Cullen/ RPattz was created specifically to drive that particular demographic wild. He's moodier and manlier than Zac Efron; too dangerous for a Dad's comfort, a natural killer who must suppress the urge; oh, and talking of suppressing urges, he can't have it off with his girlfriend as he'd get carried away and start sucking her blood.

I'm sure teenage girls won't be the least bit interested; but boys, I'd like to recommend a healthier relationship role model than this. He's called Nick, he's played by the fine young comic actor Michael Cera, and he's one half of the charming teen couple who give their names to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, due on DVD shortly.

The story of a single night on the Manhattan music scene, Nick and Norah is resolutely undramatic yet, for my money, a lot more romantic than Twilight. Nick and Norah are a pleasantly eccentric pair who, thanks to their wit and likeability, never tip over into the forced quirkiness that afflicts so many movies nowadays. They drink, they like music, they have sex. Nick doesn't glitter like diamonds in the sunlight. But he smiles occassionally, and tells the odd bad joke, which is more than can be said for boring old Edward Cullen, whose idea of fun is playing baseball with his parents.

There's a fresh verb about to enter the lexicon: "to Bing". As in: "Could you Bing me the best route to Berkhampstead?" or "I spent most of last night Binging Vanessa Hudgens." is the new search engine unveiled by Microsoft last week. Expected to go live on Wednesday, it's being sold as smarter than Google.

Then again, they said the same about the supposedly revolutionary Wolfram Alpha search engine when that made its debut in May. Rather than simply select links to other sites, Wolfram answers questions with the help of a complex algorithm. But be warned: it's a lot more useful for learning about rainfall in Chad than for finding pubs in Kensington.

Moreover, a small San Franciscan nerd collective with $15m just launched Topsy, a search engine that sifts Twitter users' tweets and links, rather than the wider web. Topsy, say its creators, is designed to demonstrate what's hot on the net right this very second.

As search engines get smarter, choosing your favourite could be the same as buying a car: perhaps we'll all just pick the best vehicle to get us where we want to go. If I search, say, "New Moon" with Wolfram Alpha, it soberly explains that the last new moon appeared at 1:14:33 pm GMT on Sunday, May 24. A search for "RPattz" draws a blank: "Wolfram Alpha isn't sure what to do with your input."

Google's top responses to "New Moon" are more my thing – the IMDB and Wikipedia pages for the movie; while Googling "Rpattz" helpfully yields its urban dictionary definition, with an example of usage: "RPattz FTW!!!"

So will search engines eventually fragment along anthropological lines, or will a giant like Google or Microsoft create one clever enough to cater to everyone's taste at once? Given the same search terms, Topsy returns two blog posts entitled "OMG! New Moon Pics!"; and "Breaking! Robert Pattinson takes his shirt off!" It has, I suspect, a good chance of becoming the teenage girl's search engine of choice.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, with her boyfriend, fellow vlogger Alfie Deyes  

If children are obese then blame food manufacturers, not Zoella

Jane Merrick
Amos Yee arrives with his father at the State courts in Singapore on March 31  

Singapore's arrest of a 16-year-old YouTuber is all you need to know about Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

Noah Sin
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat