Fraternal Publicity

23 12 2010

This entry is a bit unorthodox, but since the Greek houses are gearing up for rush in a few weeks, it’s apropos. I was curious to see what houses came up were most frequently requested in the search bar, and what Greek house photos were most popular. Give two and a half years and about 125,000 houses, there’s a good-sized chunk of data to work with. Any combo of the house’s name, with or without Cornell, is considered. Plural searches or searches geared towards chapters at other schools are excluded.  Since wordpress gives the option, I’m dividing the results into two groups: all time (since June 2008) and the past 90 days.

Here’s the top five search entries for specific Greek houses in the past three months:

1. Psi Upsilon – 201 searches, henceforth called “hits”

2. Sigma Chi – 191 hits

3. Delta Chi – 183 hits

4. Delta Kappa Epsilon – 120 hits

5. Chi Phi – 99 hits

…and for all time:

1. Sigma Chi – 816 hits

2. Chi Psi – 605 hits

3. Delta Chi – 562 hits

4. Psi Upsilon -631 hits

5. Chi Phi – 362 hits

Interestingly enough, Psi U splits its hit almost evenly between “psi upsilon cornell” and “psi u cornell”. Sigma Chi, Delta Chi and Chi Phi are dominated in searches by their full name (“sigma chi cornell”), and Delta Kappa Epsilon was mostly searched for as “dke cornell” or “deke cornell”. Only about half of houses on campus had more than ten hits in the past three months. At least five had no hits at all. My old house has a grand total of seven hits in the past 90 days. Looking at search entries, it seems that the recent favorites are in general perennial favorites. DKE had a total around 350 hits and was sixth on the all time list.

Sororities are apparently unpopular searches. The highest all time was Delta Gamma, with 113 hits. If it were a frat, it would be about 19th on the search bar popularity list. Hell, Telluride had more hits (123).

Looking at the images, the results play out a bit differently for the past 90 days. They’re a bit harder to classify, since I can only go by the number of times people downloaded the full-size photo of a house. But, if we make the assumption that the number are roughly similar, then we can make some form of a conclusion. Anyways, here’s the 90 day results, followed by the “all time” results:

90 DAYS

1. Chi Phi’s house (23 full image downloads)

2. DKE’s house (15)

3. FIJI’s house (13)

4. Pi Kappa Phi’s house (10)

5. Alpha Delt’s goat house (10). Their house photo had (9) hits.

ALL TIME

1. Chi Phi (118)

2. DKE (82)

3. Sigma Chi’s house (77)

4. Zeta Beta Tau’s house (63)

5. Delta Chi’s house (61)

So, it’s obvious that there’s a flow and ebb of publicity going on here. Like for search bar entries, some houses are much more popular than others, although it looks like every house photo had at least 3 downloads. Keeping in step, my own house had an almighty 11 downloads over the past two and some odd years.

Partly out of curiosity, I decided to commit the sin of going to collegeACB to do a quick search to see what were the most popular houses.

Psi Upsilon, searching for “psi u” alone, came up in 256 threads (aside: what the hell? Don’t you psi u obsessed folk have lives?). Searching Psi Upsilon spelled out fully and making a half-hearted attempt to pull threads where psi u is already mentioned pulled in only a couple more hits.  Sigma Chi was mentioned (either as “sigma chi” or “sig chi”) in over 170 threads. Delta Chi appeared in 127 threads.

In comparison, Alpha Delta Phi, which would’ve rounded out the top ten in the search bar, comes up in over 250 threads, and SAE, which was also in the upper part of the top ten, had 278 threats threads. Less searched houses drew relatively few threads from the gossip site (generally 50 or less; of the five houses who had no searches in the past 90 days, none returned more than a couple dozen gossip threads). So, there might be a very general correlations, but it definitely doesn’t match up perfectly.

Well, whether it’s raving or ranting, publicity is still publicity, I s’pose. I hope those who search are mindful that the info here is sparse, and that the opinions of collegeACB are about as respectable as a hooker in church.


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