DrudgeReport: Simple Design ... Wide Audience

How Drudge Has Stayed on Top


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.)

“When you look at his influence, it cuts across all kind of sites, both traditional news outlets and online-only sites,” said Amy S. Mitchell, the deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and one of the authors of the study. “He was an early and powerful force in setting the news agenda and has somehow maintained that even as there has been a great deal of change in the way people get their news.”

With no video, no search optimization, no slide shows, and a design that is right out of mid-’90s manual on HTML, The Drudge Report provides 7 percent of the inbound referrals to the top news sites in the country. “It’s a real achievement,” said John F. Harris, the co-founder of Politico. “I covered the Clinton White House in 1997 and 1998 and I would never have conceived that he would be an important player in the landscape 12 years later. He does one thing and he does it particularly well. The power of it comes from the community of people that read it: operatives, bookers, reporters, producers and politicians.”

So in a news age when the next big thing changes as often as the weather, how can a guy who broke through on the Web before there was broadband still set the agenda? How can that be?

His durability is, first and foremost, a personal achievement, a testament to the fact that he is, as Gabriel Snyder, who has done Web news for Gawker, Newsweek and now The Atlantic, told me, “the best wire editor on the planet. He can look into a huge stream of news, find the hot story and put an irresistible headline on it.”

Comment: One of the first sites I visit in the morning. http://www.drudgereport.com/

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim,

    yeah, I check Drudge almost daily... as in, "there might be the odd day I'm not on the internet kind of daily"

    I have a similar (but not quite as good) news aggregator for Canadian news, but for US and world news, it is hard to beat Drudge

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3


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