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December 09, 2004

Hugh Hewitt: Stick a Site Meter on Legacy Media

Interesting point: if bloggers live and die by the numbers, why shouldn't those in the Old Media?

Why shouldn't Maureen Dowd's column have a Site Meter on it? Why shouldn't we see precisely how widely-read these people really are?

The media's always for accountability and transparency in every other industry. Why not their own?

And, if E.J. Dionne is attracting fewer readers than, say, Stinky Pete's Fly-Fishing & Extreme Taxidermy SuperBlog, wouldn't Dionne's bosses sorta want to know about that? And maybe look into precisely what it is about this Stinky Pete character that makes his blog so darn hitworthy?

Ratings and metrics come to every industry eventually-- until recently, however, it was impossible to measure the actual readership of columnists and reporters. But now, of course, it's quite possible, and I don't think the news media will resist the economic and business impulse to quantify and count, just as television and radio weren't.

I think the media will be doing just this eventually-- but they will not, of course, share the numbers with the public. Transparency and fully informing your audience go out the window when you're talking about protecting your own.

Hewitt links to this blog, making the same points as I do, only he sorta seems to have made them first.


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posted by Ace at 02:03 AM

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