My respect for the devious magic of Matt Drudge is well documented. Last month I noted how “using a 16 year-old link blog that hasn’t undergone a redesign in its history, to my knowledge anyway, the guy features skillfully crafted, often sensational, headlines and placement that — along with Fox News — fuels the right-wing message machine.” Yes, he’s an smelly as*shole and part of the problem, but still — the guy’s eye for design may be secretly brilliant and he’s an undisputed juggernaut. One who’s even more influential than Facebook, apparently, when it comes to driving traffic on the web.
Reports David Carr of the New York Times:
By far, most of the traffic from links comes from the sprawling hybrid of Google search and news, which provides about 30 percent of the visits to news sites, according to a report released last week by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, part of the Pew Research Center. And the second? Has to be Facebook, right? Nope. Then Twitter must be the next in line. Except it isn’t.
Give up? It’s The Drudge Report, a 14-year-old site — a relic by Web standards — conceived and operated by Matt Drudge. Using data from the Nielsen Company to examine the top 21 news sites on the Web, the report suggests that Mr. Drudge, once thought of as a hothouse flower of the Lewinsky scandal, is now more powerful in driving news than the half-billion folks on Facebook. (According to the study, Facebook accounted for 3.3 percent of the referrals to news sites, less than half as many as generated by The Drudge Report.)
And of course, Drudge linked to the New York Times article proclaiming him the internet’s Jesus, just as I’m sure New York Times staffers suspected he would.
Too bad Carr didn’t point out Drudge’s penchant for peddling lies, distortions and racist propaganda, inflaming hate and fear-mongering in the process. But hey, whatever.
I want more like this!
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