Of the many weird but enlightening barometers of the national mood that one can glean from the blogosphere, try this one on for size: President Bush versus Harry Potter.
A list of the most-blogged-about people compiled daily by the website BlogPulse.com, run by Nielsen BuzzMetrics technology, consistently places Bush and Potter in the top two spots, where the president and the fictional hero of Hogwarts joust for the lead from day to day. The president surged ahead of Potter on Wednesday after a 12-day drought in which Potter outbuzzed him on the blogosphere, largely riding the reactions to his commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, according to a head-to-head buzz-off between the two icons on BlogPulse.
In a sign of the perverse and often baffling mood of the blogosphere, Potter has "outbuzzed" Bush for a total of 45 days in the past two months, largely riding the hype for both the seventh and final book as well as the fifth movie of the acclaimed series, both due in July. When he is immediately in the news for a major speech or event, Bush's spikes usually outpace the literary wizard.
Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden has more success for Team Reality in the blogosphere over his own literary counterpart. In a different head-to-head, the archterrorist outbuzzes Potter's own nemesis, Lord Voldemort. At least, most of the time.