When you are in a position like Connecting the Dots, you have a good view of what is important to people. We see what stories fly, and what stories are duds. Because of that we can see trends of what is coming.
This is not unique to Connecting the Dots. Anybody that places things on the Internet with a variety of topics can see the same. There are trends and also stories that capture the attention of people. But as with anything, our attention span is short term. It only lasts until something else comes along. After all there is limited time at lunch to talk, so only one or two topics at the most.
For example the Tropical Cyclone disaster in Burma last year, was replace with the earthquake disaster in China. Then suddenly the US presidential elections took over followed by the souring economy. Today we are starting to more fully shift into swine flu mode soon to be followed by who knows what. That is simply the way it is. Some stories are short lived like Susan Boyle, and others longer like the unfortunate crash of an Air France aircraft into the Atlantic.
Seeing is all that we have posted from day one is still available, we see what is being researched regularly. One of the top posts we have that has regular reads is about growth hormones in chickens being used in Thailand. The reason for the hormones was to compensate for all the culling being done to keep the bird flu in check. The results were young girls entering puberty years ahead of when nature intended and sporting an adult bust along with a sexual desire at the ages of 8 and 9 years old.
Another story that is being researched is the US chain of command. Not because it is particularly well written, it is because US chain of command is an improper term being used for wanting to know who comes after the Vice President.
Because of this research, we can spot global trends or when some story hit some place around the world. Somalia pirates had the worlds eye for a while as people wondered how 6 men in a small boat can command such huge ransoms. But now seeing is the navies from several countries have decided to go pirate hunting, the story has died down.
Other stories that are of concern is North Korea, and also major global warming events like accelerating sea level rise. The swine flu will be in the news for a while too as infections are rounded off to the nearest thousand. So the list will go on.
So reading the pulse of the planet is actually fun as you can spot trends before the general public even catches on. If you think Connecting the Dots has used this insider information to make predictions, the honest answer is not yet. We have roughly 555 post since we started, and it will not be until we have a much broader spectrum of story topics before we can effectively make good use of that.