Whether it's news about the death of Osama bin Laden, the Royal Wedding, or sports, people are increasingly going online to get their daily fix. The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently found that, in the United States, Internet news sources are the second-most-popular way to get news after television. The rest of the world is also big on news, according to the Akamai Net Usage News Index. Since 2005, the Web-monitoring firm has been watching the traffic levels directed at about 100 of the world's most popular news sites to find out which events send the world rushing to the online home of the BBC, CNN, the New York Times, and other news sources. From the World Cup to the Egyptian Revolution to the election of Barack Obama, here's a look at Akamai's top 14 news days online.
Date: June 24, 2010
Peak views per minute: 10,357,646
Notable event: Sports junkies were entranced on a June day in 2010 when American John Isner and France's Nicolas Mahut kept battling it out under the London sun to move on to the next round of Wimbledon. The match went for 11 hours, 5 minutes over the course of three days, with Isner finally emerging victorious. At the same time, soccer fans were watching World Cup qualifying matches among the Group E and F tables. Countries facing off that day included Cameroon, Denmark, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, and Slovakia.
UEFA Champions League
Date: November 3, 2010
Peak views per minute: 6,363,725
Notable event: Soccer news claimed second place on Akamai's list as well, when London-based Chelsea took on Spartak Moscow and Zilina went up against Marseille during the UEFA Champions League.
World Cup Kickoff
Date: June 11, 2010
Peak views per minute: 6,039,434
Notable event: The World Cup in South Africa officially started on this day. The United States won one game and tied two during the worldwide tournament before losing to Ghana in the round of 16.
Elephants Stampede Into the House
Date: November 2, 2010
Peak views per minute: 5,660,658
Notable event: Republicans roared back in 2010 after being routed in 2008. The GOP took over the House of Representatives, and the Democratic lead in the Senate narrowed to 6 seats (down from 19) by the beginning of the 112th Congress. The media initially called the election results a repudiation of President Barack Obama's policies. After the election, Obama said that voters were "expressing great frustration [that the government hadn't] made enough progress on the economy."
And Then There Were 16
Date: June 23, 2010
Peak views per minute: 5,647,432
Notable event: On this day, Team USA defeated Algeria 1-0 to move on to the final 16 at the World Cup. The revelry wouldn't last long, however, as Ghana beat the United States 2-1 just three days later.
The House of Windsor
Date: April 29, 2011
Peak views per minute: 5,398,731
Notable event: Wills and Kate were married at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, and the world went wild for the big event. Journalists descended from all over the globe, retailers sold royal refrigerators plastered with the couple's faces, and some Americans got up as early as 4 a.m. Eastern to watch the blessed event. Worldwide Internet traffic peaked that day at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.
Date: February 2, 2011
Peak views per minute: 4,953,655
Notable event: News junkies in the United States were glued to the online version of Al Jazeera English during the Egyptian uprising centered in Cairo's Tahrir Square. The world's interest in events unfolding in Cairo peaked around 5 p.m. Eastern during a day when thugs supporting the Mubarak regime tore through antigovernment protesters in Tahrir Square on camel and horseback. The attack, dubbed the "Battle of the Camel," sparked a night of rock throwing and other violence between the two sides.