The final episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" this week won the show's best ratings in 17 years and lit up the internet in the process, but -- for those keeping score -- it was still only the year's fifth-biggest event by online discussion.
It's tough to top the death of America's most wanted. Osama bin Laden's death has made the biggest mark on the web so far as measured by the raw volume of discussion, according to research by General Sentiment. That was followed by the royal wedding in second place, the Super Bowl at third, the Oscars in fourth and the "Oprah" finale in fifth, ahead of No. 6, this week's finale of "American Idol." General Sentiment is a research company that tracks and analyzes online news, blog posts, and tweets and other social media.
By General Sentiment's "involvement" measure, which gives extra weight to factors like positive chatter and conversations in social media, the royal wedding actually took the No. 1 spot from the bin Laden news. "Bin Laden's death saw heavy news media coverage, and its discussion was less positive than the royal wedding's," General Sentiment said.
On that involvement scale, the "Oprah" finale wound up ranking sixth, behind the "Idol" finale.