Trick Or Track: What Google Tells Us About Halloween

This post was originally published on Lalawag.

Halloween is less than a week away, which means it’s time to start stringing the cobwebs and stocking up on the candy.

Of course, most boys and ghouls start thinking about Halloween well in advance. In fact, according to Google, U.S. searches that include the term ‘Halloween’ start to really take off around mid-September. And that’s not the only fun fact Google Insights has to offer about All Hallow’s Eve. In fact, Google Insights offers all sorts of trivia treats about the holiday, and enjoying them won’t even give you cavities — unless your name happens to be Bing.


  • Based on data from the last 90 days, LA ranks #1 in search volume for the term ‘Halloween’. In laymen’s terms, that means that lately, us Angelenos have been a whole lot more Halloween-obsessed than folks in other U.S. cities.


  • Interestingly, California as a whole ranks tenth when it comes to ranking the popularity of the term ‘Halloween’ on a state by state basis. West Virginia takes the top spot on that list.


  • Within the LA area, Lancaster, Temecula and Victorville are the top three regions with the most interest in Halloween — at least in terms of Google searches.


  • Over the last 90 days, the top five most popular searches around the term ‘Halloween’ have been  ’costumes’, ‘Halloween costumes’, ‘Halloween costume,’ ‘Halloween 2011′ and ‘Halloween ideas’, in that order.


  • In Los Angeles, the top five most popular searches related to the term ‘Halloween’ have been almost exactly the same, except that ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ takes the fifth spot. Of course, with Universal Studios in our backyard, that’s about as surprising as a ghost saying ‘boo’.

VC’s Invested $603.2M In SoCal During Q3, Including $165.7M In Software Development

SoCal Venture Capitalists Invested $603.2M In Q3 2011
This article was originally published on Lalawag
Today, SoCalTech reported that in Q3 2011, venture capitalists invested $603.2M in Southern California companies, marking an increase from last year’s $443.8M Q3 total.


The numbers come from a MoneyTree report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, using data from Thomson Reuters. The report also showed an $829.47M total for Q2 2011.

According to SocalTech, “In terms of industries, Software gained the most investments with a total of $165.7M invested, followed by Industrial/Energy–boosted by many clean technology investments–at $135.92M. Other large investment sectors were Biotechnology, with $65.8M invested, and Medical Devices, with $63.6M. On the other side, the most active firms investing in Southern California were DFJ Frontier, New Enterprise Associates, and the Tech Coast Angels, all with four deals each in the quarter; they were followed by 500 Startups, Siemer Ventures, Google Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, all of whom had three deals each.”

Conversely though, the LA Times recently reported a  significant drop in third quarter venture capital fundraising. “Venture capitalists, thrashed by months of bad economic news, are scrambling to find investors after pulling together the smallest pot of money in eight years,” the LA Times said. “Firms raised $1.7 billion in the third quarter — less than half the $3.5 billion collected in the same period last year and the lowest amount since the third quarter of 2003, said the National Venture Capital Assn.”

Nationally, the numbers are also trending downward. According to SoCalTech “Nationally, venture capital was down 12 percent in terms of dollars, and 14 percent in terms of deals, dropping to $6.96 billion across 876 deals, compared with Q2, when $7.9 billion was invested in 1,015 deals.”

But hey, at least now we can all read the not-so-sunny economic forecasts from our new iPhone 4S’s. And, with $165.7M going into software development, it shouldn’t be too long before those phones can read our news to us — while also toasting a bagel and brewing up a cup of coffee to go with it, of course.