Norwegians want Paris, not Hilton

Yes, it looks that way if you compare the top 100 read articles in the English and the Norwegian (bokmål) Wikipedia, as I’ve done in a piece for ABC Nyheter (in Norwegian). The starting point was Anselm Spoerri’s First Monday research article on what is popular in Wikipedia and why. I compared his results with a simple count of what’s been on the Norwegian top 100 in March-May this year, according to Wikicharts. Here’s the result:

novsenwikipedia.jpg Olav A. Øvrebø

(Spoerri’s method is of course more elaborate, but I don’t think that matters in this context).

The article tries to explain the difference. Some ideas: The much smaller Norwegian community has concentrated on producing a decent encyclopedia, which means focusing on the must-have geography articles first. Then there are search patterns, where some searches for celebrities produce English-language articles before Norwegian in the results list. That Norwegians should be inherently more interested in geography than entertainment has to be doubted…

UPDATE: The WSJ wikigroans.