LAT has plans

I'm working through my email from last week and will be posting the most worthy stuff. To start, here's the latest memo at the Times from Meredith Artley, executive editor of She says traffic is up, mentions some changes that are coming and lists the site's top stories, galleries, videos and most-read blogs for November. Times photographer Luis Sinco's package of stories and photos on the Iraq veteran who became known as the Marlboro Man was the site's most-consumed piece for the month.

Colleagues: We had 77.8 million page views in November – that’s a 20% increase over November 2006. You may recall that our all-time record was set in October, during the fires, when we recorded 98 million page views. 77 million is a good figure for a month that had a national holiday and fewer weekdays (remember that Web traffic dips on the weekends). Which is not to say that November was not without breaking news – the Malibu fire that broke out on a Saturday was another great example of how we combined our reporting, photo, editing and producing resources to provide updated and timely information to our readers.

Travel is one of the bright spots for November – the section broke an all-time traffic record. The photo-centric California destinations package, the Mexico package and the travel deal blog led the growth.

Another November highlight was the coverage of the writers’ strike, with live blogging from both coasts on the Showtracker blog, a TV grid showing how some of the most popular shows are affected and other great coverage and background from “The Strike Zone.”

The Readers’ Representative Journal was launched in November and is proving to be a great gathering place for conversations about our news coverage. [Patterico must disagree - ed.]

Starting Thursday, visitors to will find a link to the beta version of The Guide, our new local entertainment site. This is more than just a great place to find out about upcoming events and restaurants, performing arts, movies, etc. Visitors can rate and review restaurants, exhibits, etc. They can find out what’s happening near them or in the favorite areas of the city, all organized by neighborhoods. They can create and share lists. The list of great features and functionality goes on, and Mary Kaye Schilling kicks it off well in her editor’s note.

Here’s what we are trying to squeeze into the final weeks of 2007:

* Our entertainment section will get a new look and pioneer the launch of “topic pages,” allowing us to build better pages focused on a singular topic and do so more efficiently. For example, in entertainment we’ll have pages on a variety of actors, directors, movies, festivals, etc. These pages pull in fresh, relevant articles and make it easier to showcase images, related blog items, etc. Should be good for our Google rankings as well.

* Also this month we will launch breaking news e-mail alerts. Sign up here.

* We will soon launch a page that lists some of the highlights of 2007, including most viewed lists for the year.

* We’ve posted some news about Web movers and shakers on the Newsroom 2.0 blog – we have recently filled some key positions and we’ll be using that space for upcoming announcements. [That is an internal LAT blog - ed.]

Top articles for November:
Two lives blurred together by a photo (Luis Sinco, with a stunning multimedia package)
Out on a limb over trimming fiasco (Steve Lopez)
Sending his cancer a signal (Erika Hayasaki)
A writers’ strike nobody wants (Scott Collins)
Rescue operation aims to save a wounded warrior (Luis Sinco)
Feminist says Hillary Clinton plays the ‘victim’ (Richard B. Schmitt)
Friends puzzle over death of Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow (Greg Burk)
In MySpace suicide case, community fights back (P.J. Huffstutter)
The iPod lecture circuit (Michelle Quinn)
Health insurer tied bonuses to dropping sick policyholders (Lisa Girion)

Top photo galleries/slide shows:
Entertainment: Celebrity shots
Facing the flames – “Burnover”
Travel: Top 15 California destinations
Metro: Malibu burns
Entertainment: Faces from the Star Trek casting call
Reader Photos: Malibu Corral fire
Metro: Malibu burns, day two
LA Auto Show
Travel: The Wave, Arizona
Obits: Notable deaths

Top video:
Throttle Jockey: Jay Leno Goes Green - 11,097 - LAT
Sinking cruise ship sends all to life boats - 9,090 - AP
Man Dies as Cellphone Explodes - 8,016 - Reuters
The Star Of The Show: 2008 Nissan - 7,968 - LAT
Colbert talks to supporters in South Carolina - 7,894 CNN
Colbert campaigns in S.C. - 7,560 CNN
Female teacher, 13-year-old boy on the run -7,209 AP
Touring the Airbus A380 - 7,114 - LAT
Victoria's Secret fashion show - 7,012 ENVLP
Auto Show 2007: Bad pickup lines - 6,924 - LAT

Blog traffic trends:
November: 2,992,827 page views (that's a record for a month when the Breaking News blog was not used)

Top 15 blogs for November:
Show Tracker - 694,764 page views (up from 208,381 in October) includes WGA strike coverage
Lakers - 423,335 PVs (up from 350,848 in October)
Envelope: Gold Derby - 270,216 PVs (up from 121,530 in October)
Homicide Report
Top of the Ticket
Envelope: Dish Rag
Varsity Times Insider
Daily Travel & Deal Blog
L.A. Land
All Things Trojan
What's Bruin
Envelope: Extended Play
Movable Buffet (Vegas)
Daily Mirror

As always, thanks for reading and tag me or your nearest Web person with any thoughts or questions.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor,

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