Politics wins again at LATimes.com

Top of the Ticket finished atop the blog rankings at the L.A. Times again this past month, with the celebrity driven stuff just behind. Peter Viles' L.A. Land continues to do well too. The Times is getting six million page views a month just from reader photos. Here's the memo about July from Executive Editor Meredith Artley.

From: Artley, Meredith Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 10:33 AM Subject: Big Web Picture

Colleagues: We can’t say the summers are slow anymore. Latimes.com set an all-time record of 127 million page views for July, cruising past the previous record of 120 million set in May. That’s 66% growth from this time last year. More than 19 million unique users visited in July, another all-timer.

We were on track to break that May record by a few million page views, and then the earthquake happened, pushing us even further ahead.

You’ll see more traffic driving elements in the most-viewed lists below. But there are other reasons for the growth. We’re using technology and the Web at large to spread our journalism far and wide. Latimes.com keeps getting better at SEO (search engine optimization), which means our stories are ranking higher in Google and other search engines. We are also performing better on sites like Digg.com. All that adds up to more exposure and more readership than ever before.

Other highlights of the month included the launch of Hero Complex, the new sci-fi and beyond blog featuring Geoff Boucher and other print and Web contributors. Hero Complex was the home for our outstanding Comic-Con coverage, with great live blogging, creative video and exclusive interviews. Also, Eric Ulken and the “cool kids” team took a break from their hard news database work and launched a fun database of L.A. dog names and breeds. Some great work went into the “Big Burn” fire series. And to top it off, latimes.com is a finalist in four categories for the Online Journalism Awards:

Breaking News – October Wildfires
Multimedia – Burnover
Outstanding Use of Digital Technologies -- California War Dead
Topical Reporting -- Homicide Report

Coming up: The Olympics blog is about to go full steam ahead with the opening ceremonies this Friday. Folks are also preparing for the conventions later this month.

Most-viewed stories and blog rankings after the jump.

Most-viewed articles for July:
1. Jackson's Obama comments almost went unnoticed (Matea Gold)
2. 5.4 quake rocks L.A. area (Joel Rubin, David Pierson and Mitchell Landsberg)
3. IndyMac Bank seized by federal regulators (Kathy M. Kristof and Andrea Chang)
4. McCain's broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship (Richard A. Serrano and Ralph Vartabedian)
5. For Republicans, the Senate outlook is bad (Janet Hook)
6. Concerned about gang signs, NFL reviews tapes (Sam Farmer)
7. Banks hit by fallout from the crisis at IndyMac (E. Scott Reckard and Andrea Chang)
8. Interrogation, then revenge (Joel Rubin and Ari B. Bloomekatz)
9. Los Angeles condo sells for $2,848 (per square foot) (Roger Vincent)
10. In study, evidence of liberal-bias bias (James Rainey)

Top 20 blogs for July follow. Blog traffic broke an all-time record this month of more than 12 million page views. Tony Pierce notes that July 2007 blog page views were 2.2 million page views. Incredible growth.

1. Top of the Ticket -- 1,800,770 PVs

2. The Dish Rag -- 1,666,702

3. L.A. Land -- 1,205,609

4. Gold Derby -- 655,369

5. Show Tracker -- 516,324

6. Lakers

7. Countdown to Crawford (more than 500K in its first full month)

8. Hero Complex (launched July 16)

9. Technology

10. Web Scout

11. The Big Picture

12. Booster Shots

13. The Daily Travel & Deal Blog

14. Opinion L.A.

15. The Homicide Report

16. L.A. Now

17. Ticket to Beijing (Olympics)

18. Money & Co

19. Entertainment News & Buzz

20. L.A. Unleashed


Your Scene, our user-generated photo service, generated 6.6 million page views in July. Bravo to Lindsay Barnett, Your Scene producer extraordinaire.

Top photo galleries:

1. Dancing badly with the stars (Elizabeth Snead)

2. 10 magazine covers that shook the world

3. A brief history of the Joker (Patrick Day)

4. Deaths that shocked us

5. Celebrity shots

6. Las Vegas party pools (The Guide)

7. Gap fire

8. 5.4 quake rocks Los Angeles area

9. Foreclosed and for sale: Bank-owned listings from Glendale to Redondo Beach

10. A marriage in pictures: Madonna and Guy (Elizabeth Snead)

Top video:

1. King-Harbor Hospital lobby death - 21,056 streams - LAT

2. Security camera captures California earthquake - 19,774 streams - LAT (footage courtesy of Incycle in San Dimas, CA )

3. Time-lapse journey through Comic-Con - 16,332 streams - LAT

4. Jackson apologizes for remark - 15,603 streams - AP

5. Woman murdered in Century City - 12,410 streams - LAT

6. Kenneth Turan reviews ‘The Dark Knight’ - 11,871 streams - LAT

7. Inside Qantas flight - 2731433 - 11,107 streams - AP

8. Governor: Californians need to prepare for anything - 10,476 streams - KTLA

9. Customers grow furious outside Encino IndyMac branch - 10,091 streams - KTLA

10. Quake recap: LAX flooding, viewer experience, CalTech maps - 9,408 streams - KTLA

That’s it. Questions, concerns, ideas for an even brighter future? Send ’em along.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor, LATimes.com


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