And here’s what YOU read in 2011

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The July terrorist attacks in Norway grabbed the attention of our readers, and held it hard. Half of our most-read stories in 2011 covered those moments of horror and their aftermath.

The top story of the year, though, was only partly related to the July 22 attacks. The somewhat perplexing news that Norway’s police officers do not want to be armed, based on a survey after the attacks, was shared on some of the world’s largest link exchanges. In the highly imprecise science of tracking internet news, we will not speculate too much on what exactly attracted readers to this particular story, but it may have seemed paradoxicial post-July 22, and it was also one of those peculiar “only in Norway” phenomena.

Another item with that same exotic flavor concerned the training of diplomats to understand black metal, reflecting how what was once a fringe music scene is evolving into an important export article, not unlike, say, salmon.

Our archives of more than 3,500 news articles, features, editorials and more, continue to attract numerous readers each day, arriving from search engines like Google and links posted on other websites. The third most-read story in 2011, on the controversial morality police attitudes of some muslims in Oslo was actually published almost three years ago, in the early days of January 2009.

Other stories which caught lots of reader interest include the sentencing of artist Odd Nerdrum to jail for tax evasion, a mysterious flight that closed an airport, the triumphant televised voyage of a Hurtigruten coastal vessel, and of course the hapless albino moose that was shot by a Danish hunter, who may not be welcomed back for the next annual moose hunt.

Items like these and countless others were shared throughout the year via our sharing tools – those tiny icons below each story, which are shortcuts to Facebook, Twitter and your other favorite social media. However, here in our Oslo office we like to think that we rely not on graphics and links alone: You, our reader, is our favorite sharing tool. Thank you for clicking, reading, and spreading the word in 2011, and please be back in 2012. Happy New Year.

These were our most read articles, according to Google Analytics:

1 Police don’t want to bear arms
2 Massacre suspect is Norwegian
3 Outcry over Oslo’s muslim morality police
4. Foreigners just don’t ‘get’ Norway MOST COMMENTED
5. Labour’s summer camp opens
6. Royal guards apologize to their king
7. Bomb rocks central Oslo PHOTO SPECIAL
8. Horrific details continue to emerge
9. Diplomats trained in black metal
10. Viking ship not just ceremonial plus many more viking stories