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'Facebook,' 'Wiki,' and 'Deaths in 2012': the top Wikipedia pages of 2012

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Wikipedia Proper - No credit needed -
Wikipedia Proper - No credit needed -

While Wikipedia itself doesn't publicly publish any data on its most popular pages of the year, a Swedish software engineer has analyzed the site's public logs to show what pages most visitors were interested in over the past twelve months. Overall, the English Wikipedia's trends are quite a bit different than what appears on Twitter and Google's 2012 wrap-up lists — the most popular page of the year on Wikipedia was "Facebook," followed by "Wiki," "Deaths in 2012," "One Direction," and the page for Joss Whedon's film The Avengers. The top searches of the year on Google (Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, and Hurricane Sandy) didn't crack Wikipedia's top ten. Major events on Twitter like the aforementioned Hurricane Sandy, the 2012 presidential election, and the 2012 Summer Olympics similarly didn't rate on Wikipedia.

There were a few crossovers between the year-end wrap-ups, however — The Hunger Games, which was Google's most-searched movie of 2012, ranked as the 10th most popular Wikipedia page of the year. It trailed the aforementioned Avengers as well as The Dark Knight Rises for movie dominance. While The Avengers was the fourth most searched for movie on Google, The Dark Knight Rises didn't crack the top ten. Similarly, One Direction was the third most searched for performing artist on Google and also had a strong showing on Wikipedia. Given the different way people use Twitter, Google, and Wikipedia, these different lists aren't a huge surprise, but we would have expected some presidential election pages — or Psy's Wikipedia page — to crack the list.