Changes coming to

Design improvements to Business, Sports, National and World, plus more databases and aggregation of (free) content from around the web, and the return of The Homicide Report, says Executive Editor Meredith Artley in her latest monthly report to the Times staff. If you were one of the many hoping for the Big Redesign and repairs to the incredibly broken search function, no such luck apparently. Artley also says November page views were up 70% over last year, and her numbers differ A LOT from Nielsen's. Interesting stat: The Times gets three million page views a month for its reader-shared photos.

Whole memo, including the top 20 LAT blogs ranked, after the jump.

From: Artley, Meredith
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 10:52 AM
To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT
Subject: Big Web Picture

Colleagues: The first half of November was very newsy, with the elections and the fires. The second half was much less so and we had the Thanksgiving holiday. That adds up to readership being roughly flat compared to the previous month – we had about 24 million unique users and 138 million page views for November. That unique user figure represents a more than 125% growth year over year. Page views are up almost 70% from this time last year.

Statistical highlights of November include setting a new record for the number of local visitors – 15% of site traffic according to internal reports, and nearly double the number of local visitors we had this time last year. One goal going into 2009 is to keep growing that number. We also set a new record for average daily page views.

But enough stats -- let’s talk about the content. As you have likely heard, a new look to the Mexico Under Siege project launched Monday at It’s one of the strongest, most unique multimedia packages ever published on our site. Check out the in-depth map of the death toll, the unique video Q & A with editor Geoff Mohan and reporters, the wonderful multimedia presentation, and see how the articles in the series can be sorted and searched. This site and series will continue to grow and change as more stories are added, more video is recorded, and more readers come and interact.

Coming up, watch for design improvements to the Business, Sports, National and World sections. The talented database gang is at work on a crime database and improvements to the schools database. Another talented team is working on “Best of the Web” pages to pilot in certain targeted topics – the idea is to do more aggregating of great content not just on our site but the Web at large. Watch for more of this in 2009. And small design changes are coming to the homepage and the rest of the site so we can do a better job of highlighting our columnists.

Tony Pierce is working with folks to make some of our more popular blogs even more comprehensive and dynamic by combining them with other blogs. For example, Web Scout has moved into the Technology blog, and the Bottleneck and Homeroom blogs will soon move into L.A. Now. We previously merged the two music blogs to create Pop & Hiss, now appearing in the top ten list below. Also, a new design for L.A. Now is in the works. The Homicide Report, which took a brief hiatus, will be picking back up soon.

Traffic across our blogs generated 14 million page views in November. Here are the Top 20 for the month:

1. Top of the Ticket - 2,679,502 PVs
2. Dish Rag - 1,635,020
3. L.A. Now - 1,433,595
4. Show Tracker - 866,660
5. Entertainment News & Buzz - 560,598
6. Hero Complex
7. Technology
8. Pop & Hiss
9. Fabulous Forum
10. Lakers
11. Daily Travel & Deal Blog
12. Gold Derby
13. Up to Speed
14. Big Picture
15. Daily Mirror
16. L.A. Land
17. Countdown to Crawford
18. Booster Shots
19. Culture Monster
20. Varsity Times Insider

Your Scene came in at 3 million page views (up a bit from October, when it had about 2.7 million).

Lindsay Barnett’s special blog time capsule: Back in November 2007, total blog traffic was just under 3 million page views. Show Tracker was #1 with 694,764 PVs. And the Ticket was just an infant -- it came in at #5 with 205,661 PVs.

Most-viewed photo galleries:
1. Orange County fires
2. Tea fire in Montecito
3. Red Carpet Rewind: Star lips then and now
4. Proposition 8 protests
5. Presidential cars then and now
6. Best and worst: Presidential campaign 2008
7. 2008 L.A. Auto Show -- production cars
8. Sayre fire
9. Celebrities by The Times
10.’s 10 scariest features

Top articles
1. Voters approve Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriages
2. Backers focused Prop. 8 battle beyond marriage
3. Tensions between McCain and Palin camps come to light
4. Prop. 8 protesters target Mormon temple in Westwood
5. Claremont parents clash over kindergarten Thanksgiving costumes
6. Schwarzenegger tells backers of gay marriage: Don't give up
7. After more than 400 lawsuits, disabled man can sue no more
8. Gay marriage ban too close to call
9. Right-wing media feeds its post-election anger
10. Guard fatally shoots man armed with swords at Scientology building

Top videos
1. Firefighters battle firestorm in Sylmar (raw video) - 51,168 - KTLA
2. ‘Prop 8’ protesters rally at Mormon Temple - 39,741 - KTLA
3. 114-year-old Gertrude Baines votes for Obama - 33,518 - LAT
4. Firefighters put out hot spots in Santa Barbara County fire - LAT
5. Barack Obama speaks to Chicago crowd - AP
6. Wal-Mart worker dies during Black Friday event - KTLA
7. Palin returns to Alaska - AP
8. Obama outlines plan to create 2.5 million jobs - AP
9. Nation's eyes on Calif. gay marriage vote - AP
10. Couple returns to find home survive Sylmar fire - KTLA

That’s it. Cheers to more good things coming in December, and a strong wrap up to fantastic growth in 2008.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor,

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