Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Morning Brief: A fatal attraction: Powerful men and feather dusters; WaPo disputes Pew's recent claim that a large portion of its traffic comes from the Drudge Report

So what can be learn about the new that the potential future president of France has been arrested for attempted rape of a hotel housekeeper and the revelation that the guvenator had a baby with the housekeeper? That powerful men love women with feather dusters? The power is corrupting in all ways?

I prefer to sum things up with the thought that if we let idiots run the world this is what you get.

Meanwhile, here are the headlines on the front page of the NYT website, see if you can find the common theme:

New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Fiscal Crisis
Questions Raised About a Code of Silence
Trump Bows Out, but Spotlight Barely Dims
Japanese Officials Ignored or Concealed Dangers
Money Troubles Take Personal Toll in Greece

Did you see this study? Conducted by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, it claims that the Drudge Report drives a substantial amount of traffic, over ten percent of all traffic, to such major news sites as the New York Post (no surprise), the Washington Post, Fox News, and Boston.com.

Here is the chart from the Journalism.org website, clicking will take you to the original online post:
Apparently the WaPo isn't happy – though a quick check of the commenters on their site should tell them that the study is probably true.

A spokeswoman for the newspaper told Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post that the percentage of traffic driven to their site from the Drudge Report is closer to 2.5 percent, not the nearly 15 percent claimed by the Pew study.

Whatever. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

Speaking of the WaPo: what do you think of their site redesign?

I admit that I am probably in the minority here among New Media people, but this WordPressization of news websites is not for me. I love WordPress, mind you, but I would think that news sites run by major media firms could generate more innovative design work.

The only thing that I find very good, however, is that like most websites, the WaPo site now floats in the middle of your browser rather than hard left. It was this aspect of their old site that screamed out "I'm an old website!".