Borat, Britney and the dead top video searches: ClipBlast

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Borat was the most popular video search, according to video search engine ClipBlast's list of the most popular video searches of 2006.

Clipblast also found Steve Irwin, the Australian "Crocodile Hunter" who was celebrated, memorialized and mourned after his untimely death, led video searches in its "Top 10 Video Searches of 2006."

"There was quite an interest in people who were dying or who died," said Gary Baker, CEO at ClipBlast, Los Angeles. "The Steve Irwin searches showed the compassion that viewers felt. New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, who died when his plane slammed into a Manhattan apartment building, was another such death."

According to Mr. Baker, not all of this death was compassionate. He said that the June death of Iraq's Al-Qaeda leader in a U.S. military strike was also heavily searched, showing some of the morbidity involved.

The death of the tiny-tot beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, who was murdered 10 years ago, made headlines again this year with a false confession. This, too, prompted many video searches on ClipBlast.

Other top searches included the president George W. Bush and pop star Britney Spears -both top headline names with a lot of ink this past year.

The controversy over racism also prompted many video searches, as Michael Richards, better known as Kramer from the Seinfeld television show, interested Web surfers.

Mel Gibson searches also made the top 10 after the actor and director was arrested in July and then mouthed an anti-Semitic tirade.

Expect these video searches to grown exponentially in 2007. According to Mr. Baker, next year the Internet will become the largest distribution platform of video ever.

"There is so much video being put out there by so many sources that the personal computer is becoming the device that people will seek content through," Mr. Baker said. "The realization that they can personalize this will lead to a whole new world of ad-supported content and direct marketing."

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