Facebook games also created buzz, coming in seventh.
"The biggest trending phrase was 'barn raising.' No, there wasn't a mass exodus from cities to the country life among people on Facebook. Instead, they were recruiting their friends to virtual versions of the old-time tradition of a community event to build a new barn," Backstrom said.
The 33 Chilean miners and their 69 days underground captured the news media -- and the Facebook community, bringing them to the eighth most-mentioned subject position. Status reports spiked when the mine first collapsed, when the miners were found alive, and as above-ground teams scrambled to create a rescue plan.
"When the ordeal finally ended, millions of people posted about it. In fact, they watched so carefully that when we zoom in to look at posts during the rescue, we see 33 unique spikes in activity -- one for each of the rescued miners," said Backstrom.
The word "airplanes" came in ninth, primarily because of the lyrics of the international hit song "Airplanes." Typically, users posted a specific line: "Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars..."
People like to look ahead, thus "2011" rounded out the top 10, and mentions are steadily increasing as Jan. 1, draws closer, said Backstrom.
In 2009, the top 10 status trends were: Facebook applications; FML (f--- my life); swine flu; celebrity deaths; family; movies; sports; FB; and Twitter.