Wikipedia had a big blog boom itself this year with almost 29,000 citations, a 54% increase from 2005. The site also saw its audience more than double, leaping from 17.8 million unique visitors in November 2005 to 37.8 million in November 2006, according to Nielsen NetRatings. It should come as no surprise, then, that actual encyclopedias such as Britannica and Columbia have nowhere near the web readership as their Wiki counterpart these days.
"Despite occasional controversy over the accuracy or neutrality of its entries, Wikipedia continues to attract and retain a passionate user base while facilitating broader discussions across the internet," said Jonathan Carson, chief executive officer, Nielsen BuzzMetrics. Plus, "the growing frequency of the word 'Wikipedia' vs. 'encyclopedia' also underscores the ubiquity and utility of the brand, not unlike other brands that often represent their categories, such as Xerox, Kleenex, Google and iPod."
No help at box office
And if blog mentions were movie tickets, "Snakes On A Plane" (No. 7) would have been looking at a much larger box-office take than the middling one it eked out in August. Ditto Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima," neither of which were box-office titans but were likely responsible for World War II's surprise No. 6 showing on the Wiki list.
No single person had a better blog year than dearly departed "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, whose legacy garnered more links than the No.3-ranked Mark Foley scandal. Had Foley solicited stingrays for sex rather than teenage male pages, he would have been looking at the year's hottest online news story. But even the former Florida congressman was more Wiki-worthy than George W. Bush, who trailed behind nine positions at No. 12.
The 10 most-cited Wikipedia entries:
Mark Foley Scandal
World War II
Snakes on a Plane
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Source: Nielsen BuzzMetrics, as measured from Jan. 1, 2006 through Dec. 10, 2006