Wikirank Shows What People Are Reading About
Search trends are fun, and give you an idea of what the mass population is into during a specific slice of time without always giving much of an explanation for why; the intent of their search could be merely informational or it could be commercial or for some other reason.
There’s certainly no shortage of traffic analytics measuring what people are buying, not buying, and then we go off to find logical explanations why or why not. In rough economic times, for example, the travel sector is taking a hit and grocery auctions (where customers bid on food past its sell-by date) are gaining in popularity.
And while that’s useful information for online businesses and marketers in the same way demographic information is, it’s all still relatively spare on non-commercial/non-news topical information the population is currently looking for.
A service like Wikirank, then, becomes an interesting tool for gauging what people like to research. Wikirank gathers page view information from Wikipedia articles and charts it. You can set topics against each other on timeline graph to gauge current (and somewhat historical) interest in that topic over the past 30, 60, or 90 days. (What would be really extra interesting is if one could look at how interest has changed over periods of years.)
Jennifer Van Grove at Mashable learned that in just past week views of the Wikipedia article about Twitter (57,000+) eclipsed views of the article on Facebook (46,000+), and that MySpace and Digg remain flat.
The site itself recommends discovering the most popular Beatle (John Lennon, obviously, followed by Paul, George and Ringo). You can see that a little buzz about the rebirth of the Camaro caused it to briefly surpass the Mustang, though they are now back to reasonably even footing.
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my? Lions and tigers remain neck and neck. Bears hibernate sleepily below.
Danica McKellar aka Winnie Cooper
The site also offers trending topics, and they are not what you’ll find on Google Trends. People are looking for more current events on Google, though current top search, Angela Lansbury, might seem to betray that idea. On Wikipedia, the top gainers are articles about war games, a WWII fighter pilot, chemotherapy, a Charles Manson accomplice, and the actress who played Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years.”
There’s also the “Most Read” category over the past 30 days. Give it up for the Beatles, still driving interest for nearly half a century now, followed by the article on the “Watchman” comic, recently deceased actress Natasha Richardson, “Watchman” the film, and YouTube.