What's coming to the Times website

Relaunch of L.A. Now is in the works, plus the much-needed redesign and more links to blogs and other free non-Times content: "simply doing a better job of linking to other sites and sources to the benefit of our readers," says the monthly memo from website editor Meredith Artley. Dish Rag was the paper's most viewed blog for the month. Memo after the jump.

From: Artley, Meredith
Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2009 10:42 AM
To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT
Subject: Big Web Picture

Colleagues: We had 136 million page views for January -- up 42% over last January -- and 22 million unique users, up more than 70% from this time last year.

Those are good numbers, but they aren’t record breakers. We are looking to beat 142 million page views and 24 million uniques (then the big goal is to push on to 200 million page views at some point in 2009). The inauguration coverage and the kickoff to the entertainment awards season made for a strong start to the year. Entertainment broke an all-time record for January with more than 28 million page views, including The Envelope, which has more than doubled its page views since last January.

We have some good things coming: A relaunch of the L.A. Now blog to make it more visually dynamic, reflecting the strong work from the metro team in updating that blog and folding in more coverage from KTLA. Also on the local front, a mapping L.A. project will kick off in the coming weeks – we’ll toss out our best take at the boundaries of L.A.’s neighborhoods and ask for reader feedback – we suspect there may be some strong, informed opinions out there. This work will be the foundation of more great database projects, like the upcoming crime and homicide databases, and will inform all kinds of neighborhood-based reporting going forward.

We have a new blog: Dodger Thoughts, by Jon Weisman. Tony Pierce and Randy Harvey have been fans of Jon’s work for a while, so they asked him to come over and blog for us. In the first 24 hours of having Dodger Thoughts on, the blog had more than 800 comments. And speaking of the masses, last month, our “American Idol” coverage kicked off. Our Super Bowl coverage included an interactive simulation, voiced by Sam Farmer.

Lots of great stuff coming from the video team recently. Artfully produced inauguration packages included a look at what this year’s inauguration theme meant to fellow Angelenos. Another package asks “Where were you?” during the inauguration and includes rare footage of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. There’s also a unique interview with artist Shepard Fairey. We keep using video to showcase our unique, expert voices – check out these sample clips from David Lazarus and Mary McNamara. And watch this birthday celebration in our own music room. Our beautiful Test Kitchen is a great place to produce evergreen videos – like this pasta recipe from Russ Parsons.

Next up: The big site redesign is in the early stages, gunning for a late spring launch. We’ll be focusing more on aggregation – simply doing a better job of linking to other sites and sources to the benefit of our readers. See a first take here, with our newly launched “Best of the Web” page for the Lakers. We have a new mobile vendor – already the mobile site at is performing better and we’ll continue to make changes there. Other improvements are coming to the supporting technology of the site thanks to our tech colleagues here and in Chicago.

Most-viewed articles for January
1. In-flight confrontations can lead to charges defined as terrorism (Ralph Vartabedian and Peter Pae)
2. Panetta a surprise pick to run the CIA (Greg Miller and Christi Parsons)
3. Flat-screen TVs to face energy-efficiency rules in California (Marc Lifsher)
4. New safety rules for children's clothes have stores in a fit (Alana Semuels)
5. California controller to suspend tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants (Evan Halper and Patrick McGreevy)
6. Study finds troubling pattern of Southern California quakes (Jia-Rui Chong)
7. All on US Airways plane are safe -- within 5 minutes of crash landing (Geraldine Baum and Matea Gold)
8. Los Angeles man kills his 5 children, wife, self (Richard Winton, Andrew Blankstein and Ari B. Bloomekatz)
9. School can expel lesbian students, court rules (Maura Dolan)
10. Ricardo Montalban dies at 88; 'Fantasy Island' actor (Lorenza Muņoz)

Most-viewed photo galleries
1. The inauguration of Barack Obama
2. Movie Sneaks 2009
3. Celebs at the inauguration
4. Red Carpet Rewind: The 'OMG!' fashion felonies of the year
5. Conflict in Gaza
6. US Airways plane lands in Hudson River
7. Red Carpet Rewind: The Obama inaugural balls
8. Five children, mother killed in Wilmington home
9. Readers picks: Overrated destinations of the world
10. 29 destinations to visit in 2009

Total blog traffic this month was more than 14 million page views. We've only beaten that total once, in the heady days leading up to the election last October. Here are the top 20 blogs – the ones marked with an asterisk set traffic new records in January.

1. Dish Rag - 2,291,477 PVs *
2. L.A. Now - 1,664,294 *
3. Show Tracker - 1,110,259
4. Top of the Ticket - 934,895
5. Technology - 927,653 *
6. Fabulous Forum - 661,787
7. Gold Derby - 642,424
8. Pop & Hiss - 432,182 *
9. All the Rage - 393,184 *
10. Lakers Blog - 366,928
11. Hero Complex
12. L.A. Unleashed *
13. Daily Travel & Deal Blog
14. Outposts *
15. Booster Shots
16. All Things Trojan
17. Up To Speed
18. Culture Monster *
19. L.A. Land
20. The Big Picture

Fun facts:
* Total traffic across the blogs a year ago was 4,470,385 PVs -- in other words, our top 3 blogs this month outperformed ALL blogs a year ago by more than 500K.
* A year ago (Jan. '08), only 13 blogs hit 100K or more. This month, 31 blogs hit more than 100K.
* Show Tracker had nearly 900K page views more in Jan. '09 than it did in Jan. '08 -- even after its biggest show was spun off into a separate blog.

Top video
1. Surveillance video, Monterrey jewelry store shooting (LAT/Mexico Under Siege)
2. USC Coach Pete Carroll talks about Mark Sanchez's decision to enter the NFL draft (LAT/Adam Rose)
3. 15-Year-Old driver, 2 boys killed in pursuit crash (KTLA)
4. Skateboarding family rolls together (LAT/Allen J. Schaben)
5. USC's Sanchez decides to enter NFL draft (LAT/Adam Rose)
6. Passengers take down man claiming to have bomb at LAX (KTLA)
7. Calif. transit cop arrested (AP)
8. Two killed in wrong way freeway crash (KTLA)
9. Hundreds living in RVs & cars on Venice streets (KTLA)
10. Some say cash-strapped CA should legalize prostitution and pot (KTLA)

Thanks for reading.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor,

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