Trends. It’s been a buzzword in online circles for so long that probably many people have forgotten what keeping an eye on them is even for. For Twitter, trends seem to be some ind of weird competition. If you’re “trending” you’re somehow seen has having stepped up to a new level. But when something big breaks, or a particularly juicy rumour starts to circulate, they become clogged with multiple variants of one topic. Then only poignant exception we can think of is when Robin Williams died recently, all the UK trends wer related to him and his work. That was nice.

But, generally, trends have limited use, because they can seem so arbitrary. Unless you’re talking about them in old-fashioned social terms. If you look at, you can see what’s being shared and talked about at one of the biggest review sites on the planet, which mainly focuses on food, shopping and nightlife. Yelp reviews can mean the success or failure of many a business, so keeping an eye on what’s going on over there is actually quite useful.

This site has some handy filters to get to what you’re most interested in and, once fine tuned, shows consumer trends for your chosen subject going back ten years.

It’s great to see such a clear and clean visualisation of this kind of data for a change too.