LAT editors happy with politics blog

Top of the Ticket has reached #85 on the Technorati hit parade, LATimes.com executive editor Meredith Artley says in her wrap-up for August. More highlights: Total traffic to the Times website continues to set new highs, led by the Olympics and including 4,136,699 page views of reader photos. The most viewed story on the website was not from an L.A. Times staffer but from Chicago Tribune Olympics writer Philip Hersh. And new arts and culture and music blogs are on the way. The top 10 stories and blogs:

Most-viewed articles for August:

1. Michael Phelps is not the greatest Olympic athlete in history (Philip Hersh)

2. Ventura County hot spot puzzles experts (Joanna Lin)

3. Fred Durst, family film director? Seems a long shot (Tom Roston)

4. John McCain ad irritates many in Hollywood (Tina Daunt)

5. Shroud of Turin stirs new controversy (DeeDee Correll)

6. Apparent suicide in anthrax case (David Willman)

7. McCain’s broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship (Richard Serrano and Ralph Vartabedian)

8. Moviemaker Cruise faces a crisis (Rachel Abramowitz)

9. Disney’s rights to young Mickey Mouse may be wrong (Joseph Menn)

10. A big surprise on gas (Op-Ed by Indur M. Goklany and Jerry Taylor)

Blogs:

1. Top of the Ticket - 2,334,018 PVs

2. Ticket to Beijing (Olympics) - 1,884,557

3. The Dish Rag - 1,519,427

4. Technology - 557,517

5. Web Scout - 552,643

6. L.A. Land

7. The Daily Deal (Travel)

8. Hero Complex

9. Show Tracker

10. Countdown to Crawford

Whole memo, with more rankings, after the jump.

Colleagues: Let’s start with some mentions of outstanding coverage this month.

The Olympics team raised the bar for event coverage. Highlights included:

- A continually updated, visually dynamic blog with links to daily articles, a wide range of unique multimedia, links to other sites, fun features like “while you were sleeping” updates and Philip Hersh’s “Phil Cam,” all browsable by sport from swimming to archery.
- Great video coverage. As Mike James said, “Plaschke was everywhere,” and we got it all on video from his soul-searching homage to a giant statue of Shaq to taking on the IOC. The team contributed dozens of unique videos.
- Stunning, daily photo galleries and great images from the archives. Browse the entire collection here.
- The collection of graphics included simple, elegant explainers on gymnastics and swimming.

Amazing stuff. Congratulations to the Olympics team, who may have sent subtle signals that they were in need of rest after it was all over.

The Democratic convention served as another example of great group coverage. The Top of the Ticket blog served as home base, with a talented team adding to Andy and Don’s efforts. Noteworthy elements included quick updates, a tag cloud showing popular words used in key speeches, a great collection of daily video and photos (check out the multimedia “carousel” at the top of the blog and the campaign ’08 page), and lightning-fast updates from the Ticket’s Twitter feed (Not familiar? Click here).

The Ticket is now home to the Republican convention coverage, boasting all of those same elements. The blog continues to test the limit of complimentary adjectives. It is now in the top 85 blogs in the world, ranked by Technorati.

Which leads us to the numbers. Latimes.com attracted more unique users than ever in August (that’s Webspeak for “readers”). A whopping 20 million people visited us last month, according to the usual Omniture stats. Here’s a talking point for your cocktail parties: The number of readers coming to latimes.com has doubled over the past year (106% year-over-year increase). We had 126 million page views for August, up 65% from this time last year and a hair short of July’s all-time record of 127 million.

Coming up: A database of all California school rankings, a new arts and culture blog, a new powerhouse music blog, usability improvements to The Guide, a new look for the opinion section and more…

Most-viewed articles for August:

1. Michael Phelps is not the greatest Olympic athlete in history (Philip Hersh)

2. Ventura County hot spot puzzles experts (Joanna Lin)

3. Fred Durst, family film director? Seems a long shot (Tom Roston)

4. John McCain ad irritates many in Hollywood (Tina Daunt)

5. Shroud of Turin stirs new controversy (DeeDee Correll)

6. Apparent suicide in anthrax case (David Willman)

7. McCain’s broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship (Richard Serrano and Ralph Vartabedian)

8. Moviemaker Cruise faces a crisis (Rachel Abramowitz)

9. Disney’s rights to young Mickey Mouse may be wrong (Joseph Menn)

10. A big surprise on gas (Op-Ed by Indur M. Goklany and Jerry Taylor)

Top 20 blogs for August:

August was a record setter for blog traffic with more than 12.5 million page views across all blogs.

1. Top of the Ticket - 2,334,018 PVs

2. Ticket to Beijing (Olympics) - 1,884,557

3. The Dish Rag - 1,519,427

4. Technology - 557,517

5. Web Scout - 552,643

6. L.A. Land

7. The Daily Deal (Travel)

8. Hero Complex

9. Show Tracker

10. Countdown to Crawford

11. Gold Derby

12. L.A. Now

13. The Homicide Report

14. Up to Speed

15. Lakers Blog

16. Booster Shots

17. The Big Picture

18. Entertainment News & Buzz

19. L.A. Unleashed

20. Opinion L.A.

Fun Facts:
*Total traffic for all blogs last August was just over 2 million PVs (compared to 12.5 million this August).
* Your Scene (User photos) total for August: 4,136,699 PVs.

Top photo galleries:
1. Best and worst of the Olympics

2. 2008 Olympics: Swimming

3. Celebrities by the nose (Elizabeth Snead)

4. 2008 Olympics: Gymnastics

5. Georgia in Crisis

6. 2008 Olympics: Opening ceremonies

7. Your 6 secret spots of the West (Travel)

8. Celebrities by The Times

9. 10 lip-synching hall of shamers (Denise Martin/Stephanie Lysaght)

10. 10 worst pop culture curses (Denise Martin)

Top videos:

1. The Bronx Zoo at La Cita Bar - 46,773 LAT (video by Myung Chun)

2. The Earth is Heating Up in Ventura - 18,836 - KTLA

3. Paris Hilton spoofs McCain ad - 14,630 - AP

4. Lip-syncing and fake fireworks at opening ceremony - AP

5. Deadly Lamborghini Crash, Driver Killed - KTLA

6. Off-Duty Sheriff's Deputy Killed in Drive-By Attack - KTLA

7. Jamaican Usain Bolt wins 100 meters in record time - AP

8. AA Jet Evacuated After Emergency Landing - KTLA

9. Olympic organizers defend lip-synching decision - AP

10. Street Racing Leaves Three Dead - KTLA

Congratulations everyone on another great month. As always, you are urged to share questions, thoughts and smart ideas with me or your nearest Web editor, producer or Web deputy.

Meredith Artley

Executive Editor, LATimes.com


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