Journal: News & Comment

Monday, March 13, 2006
# 10:38:00 AM:

Reality check

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Robert Sanzalone has a good reality check on the Vancouver Sun's podcasting article from the weekend. The "top 10 podcasts" list is a bit of a mishmash mystery, though my wife and her co-host were of course pleased to be included. I too found Kerry Gold's analysis puzzling and off-kilter, and Robert's take that the newspaper is treating podcasting like:

...a bottle [...] from the sky [...] picked up by an ancient tribal member to be brought to the "elders" for answers. They "know" the meaning for everything and their razzle dazzled explanation with big words puts everyone at ease...

is spot on.

Interestingly, a newspaper mention has a relatively small impact on site traffic, and that impact doesn't seem to have changed much in five years. Back in 2001, I published a short article in the Sun, and it brought in maybe 150 extra visitors for a day or two—which was a big boost for me at the time. This weekend's feature on podcasting also boosted my wife's site traffic by about 150 people per day. But she was already getting 200 to 300, so the impact wasn't as significant.

Oddly, there were quite a few more page requests, which means that those who did visit were requesting more files, such as images, audio, and pages from the actual podcast section of her site. And her site traffic has ramped up a lot faster than mine ever did, totally separately from any newspaper mentions.

There are a lot more bloggers and podcasters and general Internet users out there than there were five years ago. Despite that, a mention in the newspaper doesn't seem to bring any more traffic than it did back then, so the influence of the newsprint medium, at least for sidebar blurbs in the entertainment section in Vancouver, must be declining proportionally.


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