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Wikipedia goes mainstream

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Thais are pretty serious users of the internet's crowd-sourced encyclopaedia, looking up most often Asean, the sufficiency economy - and Thailand. 

A Swedish software engineer has compiled the top searches of users of Wikipedia, and it turns out that Thais are heavy users of the source.

The Thai-language version of Wikipedia got millions of searches in 2012. The most-searched for term was the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), or สมาคมประชาชาติแห่งเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ in Thai. Nearly 1.2 million people asked Wikipedia for information on Asean during the past year.

Almost all top searches on the site were serious. The sufficiency economy of His Majesty the King was the second most popular search term, with 1.1 millon viewers (and the biography of the King himself was the seventh most-search subject).

Neighbouring countries Laos, Singapore, Myanmar and Brunei took up four of the top-10 slots of most-searched items on the Thai-language Wikipedia. The first non-serious subject in the list was Nadech Kugimiay, the actor-model - and the only entertainment figure in the top 10.

The most popular search term of all on Wikipedia was "Facebook," followed by "Wiki," "Deaths in 2012," "One Direction," and the page for Joss Whedon's film The Avengers. The top searches of the year on Google (Whitney Houston, Gangnam Style, and Hurricane Sandy) didn't crack Wikipedia's top 10.

The most-searched list for Wikipedia was compiled by Swedish software engineer Johan Gunnarsson. He analysed the Wikipedia log files in order to create lists of the top 10 searches for Thai and 70 other languages.

The Top 10 Wikipedia searches in Thai, with the number of recorded views:

1. Asean สมาคมประชาชาติแห่งเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ (1,199,945)
2. Sufficiency Economy เศรษฐกิจพอเพียง (1,102,110)
3. Thailand ประเทศไทย (1,073,484)
4. Laos ประเทศลาว (830,186)
5. Singapore ประเทศสิงคโปร์ (712,687)
6. Myanmar ประเทศพม่า (697,029)
7. His Majesty the King พระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช (633,166)
8. Nadech Kugimiya ณเดชน์ คูกิมิยะ (631,802)
9. Thai postal codes รายชื่อรหัสไปรษณีย์ไทยเรียงตามจังหวัด (631,450)
10. Brunei ประเทศบรูไน     (613,644)

The full list of the top 100 Thai-language search terms can be found here. The site has links to the Wikipedia articles.

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