The Elvis Index for KM in 2000


The KM Index for 'knowledge management'

The interest in knowledge management is still increasing, resulting in an increasing number of pages referring to this subject. But the number of pages on the Internet is also increasing. At the end of 1997 there were about 100 million pages indexed by AltaVista, the search engine from Digital. In May 1998 AltaVista claims to have indexed 140 million pages.
This page describes the KM Index, a method for comparing the visibility of every person, place and subject on the Internet. It also shows the evolution of visibility of 'knowledge management' and 'kennismanagement' (the Dutch equivalent) on the Internet in 1998, 1999 and 2000.



What is the KM Index?

The KM Index is based on the Elvis Index which was first introduced by Jon Barger in October 1997. On his homepage you can find the popularity calculations of over 500 names and objects on 15 October 1997.

All popularity on the Internet is in this method related to the popularity of Elvis Presley. Since the absolute counts are always changing as the World Wide Web grows, it's necessary to choose a single reference-point that everything else can be related to. Since 'Elvis' is the highest-ranking name that's neither religious nor soon-out-of-date, his count on any day (eg 148.137 pages on January 1st 1998) serves as the 100% marker.

Almost no personal names achieve the rarified strata above Elvis. A single page may currently be seen as 7.3 micro-elvises (but this figure is always declining as the World Wide Web grows). Some results:

  • God is seven times as popular as Elvis!
  • Jesus is three times more popular!
  • Microsoft is almost twice as popular as God (and 14 times as popular as Elvis).
  • The Beatles are half as popular as Elvis.
  • Love is twice as popular as sex (and 14 times as popular as Elvis).
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How is it calculated?

A query on the AltaVista search-engine's "Advanced Search" page makes it possible to get an exact count of all pages on the World Wide Web containing *any* given word or phrase.
To measure a word or phrase, first get the current figure for 'elvis', then divide that into the figure for your phrase. Finally multiply this by 100 % to get the percentage (100 % * phrase / elvis).

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What's the popularity of 'knowledge management'?

The number of pages on the internet mentioning 'Knowledge management' is still increasing. The figure below shows the development in pages about knowledge management in 1999.

Period Number of documents Elvis Index Growth (%)
January 2000 94.091 28,7 % 584
February 2000 99.821 28,6 % 626
March 2000 108.345 28,0 % 688
April 2000 91.740 37,5 % 567
May 2000 155.558 41,6 % 1031
June 2000 168.701 46,7 % 1127
July 2000 183.989 40,8 % 1238
August 2000 174.580 41,7 % 1169
September 2000 175.448 41,9 % 1176
October 2000 163.017 42.4 % 1085
November 2000 121.753 31,6 % 785
December 2000 162.197 43,3 % 1079
January 2001 162.737 43,3 % 1083

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What's the popularity of 'kennismanagement'? (the Dutch equivalent)

The figure below shows the development in pages about 'kennismanagement' in 1999.

Period Number of documents Elvis Index Growth (%)
January 2000 2.398 0.7 % 439
February 2000 2.484 0,7 % 458
March 2000 2.851 0,7 % 541
April 2000 2.756 1,1 % 519
May 2000 4.967 1,3 % 1016
June 2000 4.992 1,4 % 1022
July 2000 5.205 1,2 % 1070
August 2000 5.000 1,2 % 1024
September 2000 5.012 1,2 % 1026
October 2000 4.741 1,2 % 965
November 2000 4.741 1,2 % 965
December 2000 4.942 1,3 % 1011
January 2001 5.119 1,4 % 1050

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What's the popularity of Elvis?

The number of pages about elvis keep fluctuating significantly.

Period Number of documents Elvis Index Growth (%)
January 2000 328.120 100 % 121
February 2000 348.885 100 % 136
March 2000 386.855 100 % 161
April 2000 244.655 100 % 65
May 2000 373.880 100 % 152
June 2000 360.925 100 % 144
July 2000 450.930 100 % 204
August 2000 418.210 100 % 182
September 2000 418.490 100 % 183
October 2000 384.805 100 % 160
December 2000 374.890 100 % 153
January 2001 376.220 100 % 154
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How reliable are the results?

Of course the results are just to be seen as an indication. Not all pages on the Internet are indexed and not all pages can be indexed since they're inside databases. So AltaVista is always lagging the net as a whole. Another aspect is the fact that AltaVista used upto May 27th 1998 several multiple unsynchronised copies of the index. This degree of unsynchronisation causes the index to be fluctuating. The results therefore change through time. Also has the way AltaVista presents the counts of pages been changed in October 1998. This caused a 'jump' for the results of November 1998.
Digital claims however on May 27th 1998 that their new index is truly a global resource.

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Return to the homepage of Philip Bakker on 'Knowledge management' in The Netherlands (in Dutch language).
© 1 January 2001