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New site looks at Wikipedia trends by tracking article edits

Want to know how the Powder Puff Girls' Wikipedia page stacks up to the WWE's Summer Slam 2012? A new site shows how often the pages are changed and how many people are making the tweaks.

DataSift, the company that gathers stats on social media trends and that took Twitter by storm, is now tracking trends on Wikipedia.

The company launched Wikistats today, a site that shows real-time data on which articles have been edited the most in the last 24 hours. The site identifies when changes were made and by how many different users. The data also shows how many lines were removed from articles and how many were added.

Most people forget that Wikipedia -- one of the largest crowd-sourced data repositories in the world and the sixth most popular Web site overall -- is a social-media site, but DataSift's new site highlights just how social the wiki tool is.


DataSift offers up Microsoft's launch of its new Surface tablet as an example of how Wikistats tracks the social sphere.

News broke on Microsoft's announcement on Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET. Minutes later, at 6:33 p.m. ET, the first page edit on Surface was created on Wikipedia. When the keynote video was released online, DataSift said, "a social-media frenzy began," and the Wikipedia article began climbing the Wikistats ranks. The next day the Wikipedia article was the No. 2 ranked result in Google search.

"Just as we identified the most popular stories on Twitter when we created Tweetmeme, Wikistats is another great showcase of what's possible with DataSift's Social-Data platform," the company wrote in its blog. "By filtering and analyzing the activity stream of new articles and edits on Wikipedia, we're able to surface an insight into the top articles and content being created."

Wikistats uses natural language processing to divide the articles into categories that include technology, banking, celebrities, politics, sports, and more.

The Wikipedia articles are ranked using an algorithm combining the number of edits, unique editors, and lines added and removed, resulting in a ranking out of 100.

In a 24-hour period from June 19 to 20 the Top 10 rankings included Victor Spinetti, a Welsh actor who died Monday, the Microsoft Surface (tablet), and the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer tournament, according to DataSift.

A line at the bottom of the Wikistats home page calls the site a demonstration of what a user can build with DataSift's Wikipedia Data Source.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Summer Slam 2012 was at the top, with a ranking of 100 -- thanks to 49 edits by 11 unique users -- and the List of The Powerpuff Girls characters had a ranking of 26 because of 12 edits by 12 unique visitors.