Welcome to Trending Topics! This site uses Wikipedia traffic data to surface topics that are trending, or have been trending recently. You can find out whats trending right now by clicking the hour tab, and you can also surface longer-term trends by using the other tabs (day, week, month, etc.). Use the recent edits button and the recent links list to find out why a particular topic is trending. You can also click the traffic graph to get a more detailed view of the traffic data.
Heres some examples of how youd use the different time-scale tabs:
- To get trending topics for August 2021, youd click the monthly tab.
- To get a trending topics list for 2021 youd click the year tab.
- To get topics that are trending today or right now, youd click the hour tab.
- To get topics that have been trending over the last few days, youd probably want to use either the day or week tab.
My hope is that this tool will be useful for all sorts of people with all sorts of needs, but here are a few ways that you could use this tool:
- You need a hot topic for your next YouTube video or blog post.
- Youre a student and you need an interesting topic for a speech that you need to give.
- Youre a journalist and need hot topics for new articles.
- Youre trying to spot trends on social media (e.g. Twitter) before they get big.
Why is a particular topic trending?
Part of the reason why I built this tool was because existing tools dont tell you why a certain topic is trending. Instead, they just give you a list of trending topics, and you have to hunt down the cause of that trend by searching through news websites, or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
So youll notice two features of this site that will help you find out why a particular topic is trending:
- For each topic that is trending, the engine behind this site tries to hunt down a list of news articles and other content that are related to the topic. The results of that hunt are presented as a list of Recent Links under each trending topic.
- Under the Traffic graph, theres a button that shows you the most recent edits to the wikipedia page for that particular topic. If you click that button youll be shown a list of recent diffs, starting with the most recent diff. On the left side youll see the previous version, and on the right youll see the newer version.
So these two features should give you a head-start in hunting down the reason why a particular topic is currently trending. Theres still a lot of work to do to make this easier for you, the reader, and so if youve got any ideas, please send them to me here.
I initially only designed the tool to be able to surface daily, weekly and monthly trends, but after playing around with yearly trends, I decided that it was going to be included in this first version of the tool. The long-term trends are particularly interesting because if you dig into this data (beyond the TV series and that sort of stuff) you can uncover broad shifts in society, rather than just hot this week type trends.
Country-specific vs worldwide trends
At the moment, this tool only provides trending topics globally, and only using English Wikipedia articles. If theres enough demand, Ill definitely consider adding trends for specific countries like India - you can send me feedback here.
There are already lots of websites where you can find trending topics for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like - and many of these social media platforms have their own pages that list their trending content. So with this website I decided to leave out hashtag trends, or trends that are specific to a particular social media platform.
Trending topics... on a specific topic
Since this website is new, I havent yet added the ability to narrow down trends to specific categories like technology, social media, politics, etc. If youd like me to add this functionality, please leave me some feedback here. The features that get added next will be based on the most-requested items in that list.
How to find trending topics
This tool probably isnt going to be perfect for everyone, so if this isnt quite what youre looking for, then you might like to try some of these things:
- Google Trends is useful for finding topics that are trending right now (i.e. today, or over the last couple of days). They also have a Year in Search section which allows you to see the trending topics of 2021, and previous years.
- By simply visiting news websites, or a place like reddit.com/r/worldnews, you can get a broad overview of whats currently trending in the news. You could also use news.google.com to find trending news topics, and that has the advantage of letting you choose particular countries and sub-topics.
- The homepage of Medium is another great place to find trending topics. And whats awesome about medium is that you can dive into specific topics by visiting
medium.com/topic/<name-of-topic>. Heres the full list of Medium topics.
- Find trending topics on YouTube by using YouTubes official trending feed.
- Twitter has a trending topics/hashtags list which you can usually see in the side-bar od your home feed. If you dont have a Twitter account, you can see globally trending topics on the search page without logging in. If you are logged in, then the trending hashtags and topics provided by Twitter are usually specific to your country, but theres a change button that allows you to make the trends specific to any country you want.
- If youre looking for topics that are trending on social media other than Twitter, then you can usually look for a trending section somewhere near the main feed. For example, Facebook has a trending list that you can use to find whats trending in your country, or globally.
- Use websites like TechCrunch, Hacker News, The Verge, and Extreme Tech to find trending topics in technology.
So if Trending Topics isnt giving you the trends that you were looking for, hopefully that list will help you on your journey.
How did you make this site?
This website is build upon the awesome (and free!) Wikimedia/Wikipedia APIs. For example, to get the image and text summary for each topic, I used a link like this:
And to get the pageviews data (for the traffic charts) for each topic, I used a link like this:
This traffic data is used to determine whether or not a topic is currently trending. You can find out more about these APIs here.
Hourly Wikipedia pageviews are also available, but not via an API. Instead, you need to parse the dump files.
Are there ways that Trending Topics could be improved? Please leave feedback here! Please note that this is a free tool, so I may not be able to add the features that you request immediately, but Ill definitely do my best!
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