Facebook’s 40 most-shared articles of 2011 includes some dog tales, a couple of stories about Steve Jobs and plenty of advice for parents.

The end of the year is coming and that means it’s time to get ready for the flood of “best of” lists that inevitably accompany the turning of the calendar. First out of the gate: the 40 most-shared articles on Facebook for 2011, most of which – big surprise – aren’t big news stories but “parenting-related topics, human interest pieces and odd trivia stories.”

A few favorites: “No, Your Zodiac Sign Hasn’t Changed” at number three, explaining to distressed astrological tattoo fans that they haven’t accidentally offended the cosmos by inking the wrong star sign into their skins. Or number 28, “Permissive Parents: Curb Your Brats,” telling parents around the world that not everything their kids do is cute. Remember Ted Williams, better known as the homeless guy with the golden voice? He came in an number 25. And then there’s the ever-pleasant “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” a Wall Street Journal piece extolling the virtues of “motivating” your children by calling them lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic, which made it to 14.

Parenting and related articles dominate the list but Steve Jobs gets a couple of mentions, as do tales about the loyalty of dogs and a few random uplifting videos. Topping the list is a collection of satellite photos of Japan, taken before and after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country.

The list is based on stories that were shared either with a Facebook button at the original story source or through Facebook’s own news feed and user walls. I’m a little disappointed and, quite frankly, surprised that condescending tales of stupid people doing stupid things aren’t more well-represented, but they probably rate their own, much bigger list anyway. Which stories did you share this year – or which do you think should have been shared more?

Source: Inside Facebook

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