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What Do Online Newspaper Readers Like?
Online versions of newspapers frequently post lists of their most popular current stories, as measured in various ways: most viewed, most emailed, most linked to by blogs. Here are the Los Angeles Times' Most Viewed Articles the evening of Friday, June 19, 2010:
- 1. Tiger Woods has a long way back at U.S. Open
- 2. Lakers-Celtics Game 7 is a triumph in TV ratings
- 3. Phil Mickelson makes a move at U.S. Open; Tiger Woods does not
- 4. Lakers' success comes down to more than Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol
- 5. U.S. gets a tie but wanted more against Slovenia
- 6. Pebble Beach's Cliffs of Over? Not for Phil Mickelson
- 7. A day after Lakers' title victory, a smiling Magic Johnson can't shut up, and is willing to put up
- 8. After title time comes decision time for Lakers
- 9. U.S. soccer players happy to have tie with Slovenia
- 10. Angels' Erick Aybar appears to be a fast healer
Yesterday was the first time I've ever seen all top ten most-viewed stories be sports stories.
The LA Times, which in the last 30 years of the 20th Century tried to compete with the NY Times as the most serious newspaper in the country, has in this century increasingly become a Sports Page-dominated outlet.
Granted, it was a big day in sports in LA, with the Lakers having won the NBA title the night before. And the U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach is a big deal with the demographic that reads newspapers online (PGA fans are the most likely to vote of all sports fans). A large fraction of LA golfers have at least driven by Pebble Beach Golf Links to ogle it (you can see a lot of the duller inland holes up-close-and-personal from your car, and if you park, you can see the famous 18th without paying anything other than the admission fee to the 17 Mile Drive).
Keep in mind, also, that The Most Viewed Articles have a high self-referential component, dependent in part on how big a push the online paper gives them.
In contrast, the New York Times' most viewed articles at the same time:
- Paul Krugman: That â€™30s Feeling
- World Cup Live: Slovenia vs. United States
- News Analysis: Twisting Arms at BP, Obama Sets Off a Debate on Tactics
- Double Murderer Executed by Firing Squad in Utah
- United States 2, Slovenia 2: Stunning Rally, Shocking Call
- Republican Backpedals From Apology to BP
- BP Moves Chief Executive to Lesser Role in Spill Response
- A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding
- Abroad: Turks Put Twist in Racy Soaps
- David Brooks: Trim the â€?Experts,â€™ Trust the Locals
The Most Emailed Articles tend to be female-oriented self-help pieces that ladies forward to their friends and loved ones. The Most Blogged articles tend to be male Political Talking Points of the Day stuff.