Social hypostasis of linguistic items

The GIF Pronunciation Page

The GIF graphics file format was invented by CompuServe in 1987. In the years since, a debate has been raging as to the correct way to pronounce "GIF": like "jif", or with a hard 'g' as in "gift" as a majority of Mac users seem to prefer. With this page I intend to clear this up once and for all...

A great site demonstrating (not intentionally) how important awareness of language use is to language (of course, after Labov, no great demonstration is needed).

Similarly, this site even uses social data collection to decide the soda vs. pop vs. coke word for soft drink in the US.
Note: The idea of using the 'social' aspects of the internet to collect useful data is also demonstrated in the success of these sites:,,, , Amazon, of course, uses it for its recommendations engine. It would be interesting to see what the true limits of this are.