I once read that in the lobby of Google’s Corporate Headquarters (the so-called Googleplex) are a series of projector screens that show real time aggregated data on active Google searches around the world.  That struck me as an interesting concept, one I thought- for the briefest of moments- would be kind of cool to see in person.

Although the average person may never set eyes on the Googleplex (beyond those exaggerated pics we’ve all gotten via email), we do have resources available that will allow us to see what people all over the world are reading and searching for on the web.

That’s where WikiTrend, from Oooo Software, comes in.  WikiTrend is an app that will allow you to track trend information on Wikipedia.  It will provide a listing of the top recent Wiki hits as well as the top recent Wiki movers. 

If you’re the kind of person who finds him- or herself constantly checking your trend page on Twitter to see what people are talking about, this is the app for you.  If you’re someone who likes to follow the news or wants to go deeper and explore the details behind the headlines, this is the app for you. WikiTrend updates every hour, so you can be reasonably sure that the information you have before you is current and not yesterday’s trends.  And if there’s a topic that you want to gather more information about or explore in more depth, simply click the arrow beside the topic and the app will open the Wikipedia page that addresses the topic in question. 

I was intrigued by this app, if only for the fact that I do try to stay connected with the news of the day via text messages and email from a variety of news agencies.  

I think there are a few things that might be added to further enhance this app.    There aren’t a lot of layers to WikiTrend, meaning that it’s pretty much a what you see is what you get kind of app.  That’s ok, but it does leave a lot to the user to determine and conclude without a lot of data.  For example, this weekend, most of the trending topics have to do with the Olympics or Valentine’s Day.  But determining exactly why can be a challenge.  It would be good to incorporate a brief summary statement for each listed topic so that the user wouldn’t have to guess why an item is trending.  In addition, it would be nice to see this app incorporate trend information from other social networking or bookmarking sites.  Trend information from Twitter, Google, or Yahoo, for example, would be great.  It would be interesting to see the degree to which trends across sites are in agreement. 

But that might be too far outside the scope of an app called WikiTrend that focuses on Wikipedia data. 

Also, it would be good to have fresher trend information.  Hourly updates aren’t a bad start, but a lot can change over the course of an hour.  Stock data is generally down to a 20 minute delay and I think that 20 or 30 minute updates in trend info would be great. 

The bottom line is that if you’re interested in following Wikipedia trends and being aware of what everyone’s talking about, WikiTrend is the app for you.  At .99 cents, it’s not a bad investment at all. 

iTunes Link-  WikiTrend

Version 1.0.0 

Tested on iPod Touch 3.1.2 

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