Top Wikipedia Articles – although Wikipedia itself doesn’t release Top 10 lists anymore it does still allow researchers to access its log files and Swedish software engineer Johan Gunnarsson has done all the hard work for us.
Although data is not available for separate countries we can see what are the most popular wiki articles in the different language versions of the site. In the English language version, which is unsurprisingly the biggest, the most searched article this year turns out to be ‘Facebook’ which had over 32m hits. Gunnarsson believes that the reason this article is so popular is either: 1) users are typing Facebook into an integrated search engine in their browsers intending to go to the site and end up on Wikipedia (which could be a self-reinforcing habit based on search history), or 2) it reflects high-level interest and curiosity about top websites and their history, policies and background.
The second most popular article was ‘Wiki’ with over 29m people looking at it, presumably to work out the meaning of the Wikipedia site itself. Curiously though there is a ‘Wikipedia’ article on the site and this came in at 27th place in terms of number of hits.
Other Top 10 Wikipedia articles this year included ”Deaths in 2012′ and movies ‘The Avengers’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘The Hunger Games.’ The list also has One Direction and Fifty Shades of Grey making the Top 10.
Other language versions of Wikipedia also had Top 10 details released and it seems that the Japanese are keen on actresses in porn movies, the Germans have an unusual preoccupation with cul-de-sacs (sackgasse to them), the Vietnamese are keen to read about sex positions and the world’s French-speaking nations are strangely curious about houx crenele, a type of holly from Asia.
Top 10 Articles on the English-speaking version of Wikipedia during 2012
- Deaths in 2012
- One Direction
- The Avengers (2012 film)
- Fifty Shades of Grey
- 2012 Phenomenon
- The Dark Knight Rises
- The Hunger Games
Admit it, the articles on holly, Japanese porn and cul-de-sacs sound more exciting don’t they!