The Numbers Crunch: Crying for Kim Jong-il?

Ein Prat Fountainheads take Israel's top 2011 video; millions view videos from N. Korea; facts from Iowa caucuses.

Numbers Crunch 311 (photo credit: Mrkay Design)
Numbers Crunch 311
(photo credit: Mrkay Design)
Videos from North Korea following the death of Kim Jong-il pulled the biggest numbers online this week, according to the Pew Research Center. The PRC’s New Media Index posited that they drew so much interest “in part because the videos contained scenes that surprised many viewers.”Clips showing North Koreans crying and mourning seemed out of line with the oppressive dictator’s 17-year rule. This video, for example, garnered a whopping 7.5 million views:Still on YouTube, it’s not too late for one more 2011 review: the video-sharing site’s most-viewed video in Israel. According to YouTube Trends, The Ein Prat Fountainheads took the top spot with this Rosh Hashana musical parody, which was viewed over 1.8 million times.Also included in the YouTube wrap was this video showing the Czech president stealing a pen, which drew over three million views, making it the most viewed clip in that country in 2011.And if you’re still in the review spirit from the end of 2011, check out the video-sharing site’s interactive “Rewind” project, which lays out the most-viewed videos of the year and the fastest rising search terms from across the world.On, readers were scattered after New Year’s celebrations, if the most-read stories on the site were anything to go by. Indeed, traffic on the site was down 13 percent compared to the previous month, suggesting that readers were on holidays or out partying rather than checking the news. Interestingly, peak times on the site correlate roughly with office hours in each location, which seems to indicate that readers are getting their news most from work. It makes sense, then, that holiday time means less news.
This past week, the top stories ranged from Muslim Brotherhood declarations on Israel amid the third round of voting in Egyptian parliamentary elections, a rare find in Afghanistan, and stories on the recurring most-popular topics: the Iranian nuclear threat and the peace process with the Palestinians.
JPost Top Five most-read stories:
1. Muslim Brotherhood vows not to recognize Israel    2. Scholarly world abuzz over Jewish scrolls find3. Iran fires radar-beating missile during naval drill4. ‘US, Israel discuss “triggers” for Iran attack’5. Barak: Negotiations can prevent Israeli isolation
On the forums, JPost talkbackers were interested in similar news topics diplomacy and security, as well as simmering tensions between the religious and secular sectors in Israel. Interestingly, the biggest domestic news story of the week, Israeli-Palestinian talks in Amman on Tuesday, didn’t register on either list.
JPost Top Five most-active threads:
1. Gingrich condemns Ron Paul for abandoning Israel2. ‘US, Israel discuss “triggers” for Iran attack’3. Israeli call to resume direct talks rebuffed by PA4. Hundreds of haredim riot in Beit Shemesh5. Security Council members line up to criticize Israel
In the US, meanwhile, the biggest news story of the week was undoubtedly the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses on Tuesday, in which former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won by a mere eight votes over former US senator Rick Santorum. To wrap up this week, some stats from the race, thanks to Pew Research.
Romney received the support of only 1% of “true conservatives” Ron Paul got 37% and Santorum 36%.Santorum won a third of the votes from those who decided whom to vote for on the day of the caucuses, or in the three days leading up to them. For 13% of voters, abortion rated as the most important issue. 42% saw the economy as key. Independents made up 23% of GOP caucus voters, compared to 13% in 2008. Some 60% of voters were white Evangelicals.
From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a weekly 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.