Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tribune has "difficulties"

Probably one of the finest hours for the Tribune and their advertisers and they blow it. Their story about Dobson students having concerns over Obama's plan made national media and was featured on the Drudge Report. Around that same time, the linked page mysteriously changed to a different story.

East Valley Tribune denies any shenanigans and says any claims otherwise are purely conspiracy theories. While many will continue to focus on the change in the page itself, I think its more important to view what it represents. First, something that should be obvious to most people. Drudge is more influential than the Trib. See the chart:


Drudge is consitently one of the top 1000 sites it the WORLD. East Valley Tribune toils in the 50,000 to 100,000 range. But look at the spike, you know it coincides with? Being on Drudge!

So what happens? On the Tribune's highest daily rank ever, their site crashes and the page mysteriously changes. Great job, fellas. Its like being on TV for the Miss America pagent with bad make-up and an ill-fitting swimsuit.

Secondly, what about Hayley Ringle, the Tribune writer? Shouldn't she be more upset? This was her chance to get some national attention which was deserved for her thoughtful piece looking at the announcement from a different perspective. The rest of the Trib did a 4 page centerfold on the visit, with everyone jumping up and down in excitement. Meanwhile, I am assuming that since she was assigned to a classroom, she is probably fairly new. Who knows if she'll have a job next week at the Trib, but hey, at least they did her a solid by getting people to read her story...oh wait.

Finally, what does this say about the Trib's new business model? You wanted to focus on your web presence? It looks like it needs a little work, and perhaps a little more security. All we can hope now is that they take the time to assess what went wrong and what they can do to make sure it doesn't happen again.

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