I periodically post “most popular” lists of websites (and books) that I think educators might find useful. Of course, there are a number of ways to gauge “popularity.” I just view these lists as opportunities to check-out some new sites, and find it interesting to see which ones might be particularly “popular.”

I’ve made quite a few posts that fit into this category, and thought I’d highlight which ones I thought were the best and most useful for educators.

You might also be interested in previous editions:

The Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators –2010

The Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators –2009

Here are my choices for The Best Places To Find The Most Popular (& Useful) Resources For Educators — 2011 (not listed in order of preference):

The Most Popular Subjects On Twitter: “What’s Up” is a fascinating tool that lets you easily explore the most popular subjects on Twitter for any day or for any hour of that day. The Information Aesthetics blog has more information about the site.

The Most “Engaged” Education Blogs: Many people are familiar with PostRank (recently acquired by Google), which ranks blogs by an engagement level. You can see their complete ranking of education blogs here

Most Popular TED Talks: Check out the 20 Most-Watched TED Talks.

Popular Websites: Top Web is a new site that supposedly will show you the top ten most popular sites for any topic. In some quick testing, it appeared to me that their algorithm worked relatively well.

Most Popular Education Twitterers: Mike Petrilli published a list of the most popular twitterers (tweeters?) on Twitter (see All A-Twitter about Education). He used the ranking system called Klout to make his determination. He also received a lot of “pushback” from key folks left off the list, so take it with a grain of salt.

YouTube Videos: YouTube Trends describes itself like this:

Created by YouTube, YouTube Trends is a new destination for the latest trending videos and video trends on YouTube and a resource for daily insight into what’s happening in web video. By making use of viewership data and aggregating the wisdom of top curators across the web, YouTube Trends surfaces popular videos in real time, and provides a blog of broader trends developing within the YouTube community.

It seems pretty useful and interesting.

Twitter Hashtags: “What The Trend” monitors thousands of “hashtags,” the words following the “#” sign, on Twitter. They are used to help Twitter users follow all tweets on a particular topic. What The Trend will help you understand what particular hashtags mean, which are the most popular at any given moment, and which are popular in what country. It actually looks pretty interesting.

NPR: National Public Radio or NPR (though I believe they may officially only be called NPR now)lists the most viewed, most commented, and most recommended stories over the previous 24 hours at their Most Popular page

Social Media Trends: Rrrewind is like a “Today In History” site for social media. Here’s how TechCrunch describes it:

[It] lets you see what was hot on Delicious, Digg, Hacker News, Reddit, Hulu, Yahoo Videos, YouTube, Dribbble, Flickr, Amazon and Yahoo Buzz for any day in 2010 and some in 2009. Like a snapshot in virality or a Popurls with a history focus, Rrrewind allows you to go back in time and see an archive of the most viewed items on the Internet.

CNN Stories: CNN’s “News Pulse” is a new and very sophisticated section of their website where you can identify what stories are the most popular. That kind of feature, obviously, isn’t new. But at News Pulse you can identify the criteria you want — which subject area and in what period of time.

Facebook: All Things Now lists the most shared content on Facebook.

Bitly: Bitly News lists the most popular links that have used the Bit.ly url address-shortening service.

While you’re at it, you might be interested in seeing some “year-end” popular lists:

Top searches 2011 from Yahoo

Top Bing Searches in 2011

Facebook’s Most Shared Articles of 2011 List

Most Popular Searches of 2011 from LIFE

Feedback is always welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 800 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.