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The Sustained Hunger to Know Sarah Palin

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 7 2009

Given that we live in a time and a place where once-future sons-in-law of vice presidential nominees dish to Vanity Fair on intimate details of life in candidate's home, it strains the imagination that there is really that much that people want to know about Sarah Palin but don't already. But people are indeed voracious for information on Sarah Palin, according to Wikirank, a neat tool that charts how many people are reading a Wikipedia entry. (The data is pulled from Wikipedia's own server logs, so there's a very good chance it's accurate. But we only have data through the early days of September, so Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's recent creation of a PAC, for example, isn't going to be reflected in this particular chart.) Interest in Palin on Wikipedia crushes that of some of her possible 2012 Republican presidential rivals.

Take Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, for example. He's often mentioned as a possible Republican presidential contender, has an compelling life story of his own, and yet he isn't overly familiar to many Americans. His Wikipedia entry was read about 100,000 times over the last three months. Not bad, but Palin's was read eight times that.