The Numbers Crunch: Gaza, UNESCO news floods Web

New diplomatic- and security-related stories replace news of the Schalit prisoner exchange in most-read articles and on social media.

Numbers Crunch 311 (photo credit: Mrkay Design)
Numbers Crunch 311
(photo credit: Mrkay Design)
As the storm of Israeli media activity over Gilad Schalit’s release from Hamas captivity died down this week, two other stories surfaced to take the proverbial spotlight: Violence on the Gaza border escalated, and UNESCO voted to accept the Palestinian Authority as a member. Both stories stimulated a flurry of reactions: military retaliation in the south, and reverberations on the diplomatic front.
Of the Top Ten most-read stories on in the past week, four were related to the UNESCO decision and subsequent Israeli and international reactions, and three stories focused on the south. Other stories which made it to the list related to Israeli aid sent to Turkey in the wake of a devastating earthquake which was also a hot topic on social media (see below), to US-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel’s release from Egyptian custody and to Schalit’s captivity.
Top 10 stories on last week:
In US news coverage, meanwhile, stories relating to unrest in the region took up 6% of the newshole in the past week, according to the Pew Research Center’s
Also featured on YouTube, as in previous weeks, was gruesome footage from Libya, as well as videos from “Occupy” protests from across the US.
Among bloggers, the PRC’s New Media Index found overwhelming support for the Occupy movement, citing an opinion margin of over two to one. The topic, however, was only the third-most talked-about topic on blogs studied; planned changes at Google, including the dropping of failed social media initiative Buzz took the top spot. On Twitter, according to the PRC, Gadaffi’s death took the fourth spot, under tech-related stories and links to a human interest piece about an elderly Iowa couple who died holding hands.
On local social media, news of a small flotilla which tried to break the Gaza blockade was trending in Jerusalem, according to real-time mapping site Trendsmap. The hashtags #freedomwaves, #flotilla and #gaza took the top spots, followed by #israel, #palestine and #middleeast. In the Tel Aviv area, meanwhile, the top trending topic was #iran, in an apparent reaction to Israeli media noise in the past week on the topic of a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Lastly, some random facts and figures from the past week on the site:
●    Israeli readers spend over twice as long on the site as their US counterparts
●    The Top Five countries by traffic: US, Israel, Canada, UK, Australia
●    The number of SMSes it would take to text all JPost comments to a friend: 328,000
●    JPost talkbackers are 75% male, 25% female
From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a biweekly column which zooms out and brings you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the world, and poll results from

The writer is the Internet desk manager at The Jerusalem Post