Recently I wrote a new tool for Wikipedia which makes good use of the consolidated page request files and the page category system, to rank thematic sets of Wikipedia pages by popularity. Tool and request files are both hobby projects.
Visually challenged satyan master demonstrating reading malayalam wikipedia using free software,
E-speak ,screen reader, author Fotokannan, copyright CC BY-SA 3.0
For selected languages your can browse the top 2500 or even top 10,000 most requested articles within a certain category or one of it’s subcategories. You can also browse the category hierarchy used for selection of these pages. Reports are grouped by language and month.
Sometimes entries in these lists seem oddly out of place. Any Wikipedia article can have tens of categories assigned to it. A popular article will rank high in any list where it’s featured, regardless of the category under review. Thus a well-known singer may be top ranking in a list about politicians, because he/she also played a minor or brief role in politics.
For a selected set of categories these stats will be refreshed monthly. Some popular languages, like Russian and Japanese, will be added once Unicode support is complete.
Michael Hale published a video the same day I first tweeted about this, which demonstrates a related more interactive tool. Highly recommended to also watch that demo. Both approaches are quite different, each with different merits.
We could do much more with article request counts. For instance we could weigh likelihood of a page popping up at Random article based on it’s popularity. Purists may object, as the selection would no longer be really random, but we could rename the button, e.g. to ‘Feeling lucky?’.
Politicians by country (and politics, and in some languages celebrities with party affiliations, as these are in the same category hierarchy):
American (en), Brasilian (pt), British (en), Dutch (nl), French (fr), German (de),
Indonesian (id), Italian (it), Polish (pl), Portuguese (pt), Spanish (es), Swedish (sv)