Memo from Tony Pierce, blog editor of the L.A. Times, about a traffic rush over the weekend that gave the paper's national politics blog its biggest day yet — and still it was beaten by sports.
From: Pierce, Tony
Sent: Mon 11/16/2009 7:43 PM
Subject: Congrats Fabulous Forum & Top of the Ticket
After Barack Obama delivered his inaugural speech earlier this year people asked me “so is this the end of Top of the Ticket”? I merely smiled because if there’s one thing Andy Malcolm enjoys it’s a challenge, and keeping The Ticket in the Top 5 of LA Times blogs after the honeymoon ended with Obama has been quite a task.
Saturday, I am happy to report (though not surprised), Top of the Ticket had its biggest day ever. Yes, it was bigger than any of those debates, it was bigger than when Sarah Palin explained to the world the difference between pit bulls and hockey moms. Saturday Top of the Ticket, thanks to a tip from a sharp-eyed Times staffer, got more readers than when the United States elected its first Black president.
Indeed, a story that eventually was linked from the Drudge Report in 48 pt bold about Barack Obama bowing to the Emperor of Japan blew away the hits of those other historic days in American history. And this was a post published at 3:38am.
So yes you should post on weekends. Yes you should post in the middle of the night. Yes you should never quit. And yes, if you have compelling content, people will read it, so get it up there.
But as great of a day that the Ticket had on Saturday, it still wasn’t the most popular blog that night. Our amazing Fabulous Forum blog beat the Ticket. Thanks to on-the-spot reporting by Kevin Baxter, who live-blogged the Manny Pacquiao fight; Gary Klein, who live-blogged the USC football game; Chris Foster, who live-blogged the UCLA game; and Houston Mitchell who liveblogged the UFC mixed martial arts bout (it was Houston who was also the ringmaster of the Forum blog this weekend) – the Fab Forum had their best day ever with nearly 600,000 pageviews.
Blogs, who on good days, account for 15% of overall traffic of the website, Saturday was responsible for over 30% of readership.
And yes, it did not surprise me that a group blog, writing in a timely way, and using some intelligent Google SEO “tricks” was able to overcome the power of an all-day superlink from the Drudge Report about our president.
Congratulations to everyone involved, and get ready for more record-breaking days and nights as we continue to work as a team and allow blogs to remain not just a nice idea for the future, but a serious part of our present.