Originally posted on VentureBeat:
To the Thais in my village, the biggest news item while I lived there was the death of Michael Jackson. People expressed their deepest condolences, saved newspapers for posterity, and brought me bags full of mangoes to soothe the pain.
Comparing what people find interesting is a fascinating cross-cultural exercise. When we want to learn more about any given topic, many of us go first to Wikipedia, which is why a report detailing the most viewed articles in 2012, broken down by language, is a revealing glimpse into different mindsets, values, and ways of life around the world.
The English-speaking world is drawn to technology, entertainment, and death. Facebook is the most-viewed page with 32.6 million views, and more than 25 million people looked up “Deaths in 2012.” Half of the top 10 centered on blockbuster films, an English-Irish boy band, and Fifty Shades of Grey.