Wikipedia statistics show that 2015 was the year of the movie highlights the many (non-free) movie-related articles among the most read of 2015. In the two previous years (non-free) television-related articles had been more popular. I think the popularity of (non-free) popular culture topics on Wikipedia has been noted many times elsewhere (and the place of “premium video” at the commanding heights of culture here), but this particular blog post reminded me and prompted noting a couple other things.
- As I’ve noted many times, Wikipedia is probably the only free culture project that has achieved deep cultural relevance. More needed.
- That it has is potentially powerful; I hadn’t realized that “For films specifically, Wikipedia statistics are a prime component of Variety’s Digital Audience Ratings.”
- Has an article related to free works other than Wikipedia itself ever appeared in the weekly top 25 report? What’s the highest?
- In the current (archived) top 5000 list we find Java (programming language) at #10 which seems odd – is Android moving to OpenJDK playing in the popular press or something? Also public domain by expiry work War and Peace shows up at #84 but this is presumably driven by the (non-free) BBC series based on the book which is #79. I didn’t look much further down the list.
All this suggests a project – top articles related to free works sorted by views. Identifying which articles are related to free works needed for this, also somewhat challenging, but could be done through a combination of categories, WikiProject tags, and Wikidata statements.