How to measure a trend

by S&M

How do you measure a trend? To these researchers, it seems to be about numbers at peak popularity, and perhaps about staying power. I would measure a trend by how rapidly it spread, and how rapidly it faded away. For names, that means that there are some people whose age you can guess fairly accurately simply by knowing their first name. Kohl/Cole might be such a name for boys. There are three in my son’s age group basketball league at the Y; I don’t know anyone else with that name.

Does it always make sense to measure trends the same way, or how should trends other than names be measured?

This Is the Trendiest Baby Name in US History


No-host Birthday Parties

by Honolulu Mother

This Washington Post article declared that the writer would be opting out of birthday parties where it’s not clear whether guests are expected to pay for themselves and the birthday celebrant (or where it’s clear that they are).

Stop charging me to attend your celebrations — #guestsdontpay

The writer, Michelle Singletary, explains the problems she’s seen:

Too many times, I’ve shown up for an event and been told after consuming the meal that I’m expected not just to pay for my food, but to chip in for the guest of honor. I’ve been at events when others — caught by surprise or knowing they don’t have the money — skip out without paying their share. This leaves the remaining guests to pick up the cost of what wasn’t paid.

I would have thought a decision to avoid such events would be uncontroversial, but apparently the column sparked off Facebook debates that also drew in the new Facebook thing of doing a birthday fundraiser and exhorting friends to contribute to a chosen cause.

I haven’t been seeing this myself, probably due to a combination of stage of life (my peers have money and houses now) and generation (I don’t think that inviting people to join you for dinner and expecting them to pay for your meal as well as their own was as much of a thing in my misspent youth). How about the rest of you — have you seen this trend? What do you think of it?


by Honolulu Mother

This U.S. News article discussed an interesting study on how commuting patterns are slowly changing:

How Commuting Is Changing

Here’s the article’s summary of national trends:

On the national level these figures illustrate a few large, long-term trends that are continuing to play themselves out over time. Slow, steady declines in single drivers are offset by equally slow increases in public transit riders. A lot is made of the gains in so-called nonmotorized commuters walking and biking – and for good reason – but by far the biggest change is in those staying at home to work.

And of differences in commuting patterns from place to place:

… the places where commuters predominantly drive to work alone are concentrated in the South and the Midwest. On the flipside, transit-intensive counties also tend to have the highest rates of walkers, taxi riders and bicyclists. Those who are able to work from home the most seem concentrated in suburban, or collar, counties where they be otherwise facing long trips into the central business district.

I’ve noticed that the recently introduced bikeshare program here seems to be drawing a lot of commuters, with racks in the business / financial district filling up in the morning and emptying in the evening (although the bikeshare van does its best to rebalance the supply by moving bikes around). But my own commute is a single-person-in-car commute by the time I get to work, even though it usually starts as a full car leaving home.

Has your commute changed in recent years? Do you see the kind of gradual changes the article talks about?

Companies moving back downtown?

by MooshiMooshi

Are companies really moving back downtown?

The Washington Post is reporting that after years of corporate headquarters moving to the suburbs, the reverse is now happening.

As companies relocate to big cities, suburban towns are left scrambling

And of course, this means that opportunities for well paid jobs become even more concentrated in an handful of big cities.

I think there is another interesting quote, somewhat buried in the article.

… Years ago, IT operations were an afterthought. Now, people with such expertise are driving top-level corporate decisions, and many of them prefer urban locales.

“It used to be the IT division was in a back office somewhere,” Emanuel said. “The IT division and software, computer and data mining, et cetera, is now next to the CEO. Otherwise, that company is gone.

Perhaps this is why the current tech bubble feels less bubbley to me.
Do you notice either of these trends?

The List

by AustinMom

The Washington Post has compiled its annual list of what is “IN” and “OUT” for 2017. The article also provides a link to lists as far back as 1978.

What do you think of the list? Will you be happy that the “OUT”s are leaving us? Did you see the “In”s coming? Or, did you have look up what some of the items are?


The List 2017

Changes in Society Reflected in Wedding Announcements

by Honolulu Mother

In this article, Todd Schneider took a look at the changes in American society through the lens of the New York Times wedding announcements:

How love and marriage are changing, according to 63,000 New York Times wedding announcements

You can search for the trends he didn’t mention at his site, Wedding Crunchers.

What’s the weirdest or most notable change you’ve seen in wedding announcements, ceremonies, receptions, or another part of the wedding-industrial complex? Are you going to any summer weddings?