Measuring ‘fame’: The simple method used for my list of Top 10 most famous Danes

The “Top 10: Most Famous Danes in 2015” list published has been created using the following method:

1. I asked my Facebook friends to name who they think should be on the list.
2. I took this shortlist (a pretty long list) of names to Google Trends and started analysing them and benchmarking them against each other.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 15.43.31
A screen shot of what the Google Trends analysis tool looks like. Here’s an all-time (since 2004) comparison of Lars von Trier, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Susanne Bier and Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Note that Helle Thorning-Schmidt has received more searches than Susanne Bier – but that’s only if we include searches from Denmark. Once we remove those the result is the opposite.

Is it a valid method?

The method is not perfect (no method is).

First and foremost, since the scores on Google Trends is based on how many searches related to that person has been made it will be more about “interest” in the person than about his or her “fame”. But it will reflect how much these people are on other people’s minds.

Having used this tool for many, many hours I’m convinced it’s a very valid way of judging the current fame of the shortlisted people.

In Google Trends, you’re also able to see where in the world the searches have been made, and so I’ve also taken into account and deducted the amount Danish searches. Because I’m only looking to judge the fame outside of Denmark. Some are “world famous in Denmark” – and those I don’t want on the list.