Drudge Blows Past a Billion, Nobody Cares
November 13, 2002 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Drudge Blows Past a Billion, Nobody Cares If we are to believe his counter, Matt Drudge cleared over a billion page views so far this year, a milestone, certainly, amid a collective yawn to those in the press or those on the web. How could this be? How could one man be apparently so popular while going so unrecognized? Is the Drudge Report the web's dirtiest little secret? And for those of you who are part of the billion, why on Earth do you go there? He doesn't write anything, really. And when he does it's not always true. And the final question is, why hasn't any of the major news services borrowed from his format or style, he's just a guy in a dumb hat after all. Isn't he?
posted by tsarfan (38 comments total)
 
prematurely posted without linking the site in question.
posted by tsarfan at 4:48 PM on November 13, 2002


I had the 'thrill' of being on the receiving end of an ill-researched Drudge link. Freepers threatened my life because of it.
posted by tpoh.org at 4:49 PM on November 13, 2002


Wow. For someone who "doesn't write anything", who is "just a guy in a dumb at", who elicits "a collective yawn", you certainly droned on about him long enough to make a pointless MetaFilter post, tsarfan.
posted by Danelope at 4:53 PM on November 13, 2002


Matt Drudge: the Save Karyn of journalism.
posted by ook at 4:59 PM on November 13, 2002


The problem is his site is ugly as sin. Hard to give props otherwise.
posted by letterneversent at 5:00 PM on November 13, 2002


Danelope, insulting Drudge is one thing, but cool it on tsarfan.
posted by letterneversent at 5:01 PM on November 13, 2002


What's good about Drudge: When something big happens, he tells you sooner than any other site, period. I can't count how many important events I learned about because Drudge threw up a size=+3 headline about it within minutes (the most recent example, alas: Wellstone). I am aware of his politics; I understand he sometimes links to dubious sources. As a media consumer, I trust myself to separate the good from the bad.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 5:02 PM on November 13, 2002


Is the Drudge Report the web's dirtiest little secret?

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Imagine if this got out!
posted by HTuttle at 5:03 PM on November 13, 2002


So if he sold text ads at the same ridiculously low rate that, say, MetaFilter does, he could have made over a million dollars already this year, with just one ad placement on his home page. And yet he leaves this money on the table, why?
posted by spilon at 5:12 PM on November 13, 2002


I'm proud to say that I contributed not even one of those pageviews.
posted by Fupped Duck at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2002


I recall hearing that Amazon recieves about ten billion hits a year. I tried but failed in the archive search: wasn't there a post a bit back about the top 100 visited websites in the world or something like that?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:19 PM on November 13, 2002


One billion page hits out of ? unique visitors.

Kinda like eBay or FilePlanet.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:21 PM on November 13, 2002


Counter queens are nostagia at this point, aren't they?
posted by thirteen at 5:21 PM on November 13, 2002


And tsarfan, nobody cares because you don't really provide a reason to. Drudge gets a billion hits a year.... and?

/\/\/\/\- Equally partisan sites like Buzzflash do that too... It's not like he has a magic radio that gets the headlines in advance... having the TV on and getting to the computer quicker isn't that big a deal to me... this isn't 1980 when CNN scooped Reagan's shooting hours in advance.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:30 PM on November 13, 2002


drudge is not as glitzy as CNN or MSNBC, but his site loads instantly and rarely is there more than 2-3 photos on the main page. His headlines are short and to the point. I also checkout cursor.org and debka.com, but I am such a short attention span that I always check out drudge (sometimes up to 10x per hour)
posted by lsd4all at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2002


I often see news at forum.fuckedcompany.com first of all, then drudge, then news.BBC.co.uk.

It has to be said that links with weight are often found on here.
posted by hmgovt at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2002


tpoh.org: Fill us in. What happened?

As for Drudge, ditto on the newslinks, his "scoops" are usually just gossip-crap anyway, not much real news.
posted by internal at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2002


why hasn't any of the major news services borrowed from his format

It's because his criteria for selection and presentation were stolen. Tass had a patent on that type of objectivity. Flipping it 180 degrees doesn't make it original.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:16 PM on November 13, 2002


Anyone have any idea what the front page of drudgereport means today, it says "A photo so tragic it defies description..." and just has some ugly animated gif followed by a link back to the front page.
posted by bobo123 at 6:33 PM on November 13, 2002


bobo123: It's up now.

Ack.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:41 PM on November 13, 2002


If no one cares, why did you post it?

Jackass.
posted by xmutex at 6:41 PM on November 13, 2002


it's like news from a drunk guy. i love it.
posted by clango at 6:42 PM on November 13, 2002


The Horror!

posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:43 PM on November 13, 2002


C'mon, mefites, you should be using drudge.com anyway.

XQ: If you mean something other than Alexa's Top 500 Websites, I don't know what it is. It's more affected by non-English sites than I remember, and though Yahoo! remains at #1, Amazon is now at #22.
posted by dhartung at 7:03 PM on November 13, 2002


Woah. Sorry if I derailed the thread, I thought there was some link or something I was overlooking. Woah that's freaky.

Personally I stopped reading drudge after that nonsense about Clinton being the father of a 13 year old boy a while back.
posted by bobo123 at 7:17 PM on November 13, 2002


The Horror!

OK, that's my vote for BANNING IMAGE TAGS decided...
posted by inpHilltr8r at 7:20 PM on November 13, 2002


Naaaaggghhhh!!! What the?! What is up with the bit at the bottom? Is all silly putty now and he forgot and pinched it?
posted by Zombie at 7:44 PM on November 13, 2002


I think the key is in:

META HTTP-EQUIV="refresh" content="240"

He must have like 20,000 browsers open to get that kind of hittage. Gives us the uniques Drudgemaster.
posted by m@ at 8:46 PM on November 13, 2002


Matt Drudge does make oodles of money on advertising. One of his ad reps sent me a report by mistake once, and I was emotionally devastated for days.

His site does a few things well, though his own personal reporting isn't one of them. Drudge (and the guy I suspect does more of the day-to-day work, webmaster Andrew Brietbart) stuck with a low-graphic, fast-loading page that has survived traffic spikes way better than any competitors his size, and even though the interface is bad, they've stuck with it so long that readers know how to use it. Most news sites can't say the same thing.

Also, Drudge has been aggressively pimping himself from Day 1 -- mentioning every hit count milestone like this one for years and even writing stories about any vaguely important person who complimented him. It had a nice self-fulfilling effect, giving the tech-clueless media a chance to treat him as if he had an audience of millions simply because he had 2 million visits in a month.

Finally, Drudge has been a good weblogger since before the weblog existed. He was good at finding stories and pictures on other sites quickly -- even today I don't know of anyone else, with the possible exception of Jorn Barger, who would fish through an obscure database on NorthernLight.Com on Sunday afternoon simply to get a 12-hour scoop on the next week's Newsweek.

Though he's an incompetent writer and reporter and a sleazy partisan hack, at least part of the Drudge Report's astonishing success is deserved. (According to Alexa, it's the 335th most popular site on the Internet, thanks to Sidney Blumenthal's idiotic libel suit and ZipperGate.)
posted by rcade at 9:50 PM on November 13, 2002


As I've noted before, I tried to stop reading Drudge back around the time of these risible posts to rec.arts.movies {don't skim, read the whole thing, trust me}, when he was still considered a spammer rather than a blogger. That was 1995. Clearly, my ignoring him has been wildly successful.
posted by dhartung at 11:01 PM on November 13, 2002


I'm sorry, but for a second when I clicked the link to this thread I thought it was a link to a one-sentence entry about web stats at a well-known website posted on somebody's blog ;)

Matt should have a Shining moment and axe this mofo.
posted by The God Complex at 11:08 PM on November 13, 2002


FYI - This is from Matt's Bio on IMDB.com
Famous for being the first reporter to break the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton sex scandal story.
He's no Woodward or Bernstein, although they do not have a popular website.

posted by lsd4all at 2:00 AM on November 14, 2002


sorry if you missed the irony, TGC, but the point of the post was the guy hit a billion and the only place that felt ok talking about it were little tiny blogs like that. and not too many of them at that.

i dont like the guy either but i do think that he deserves discussion especially after reaching such an enormous plateau.
posted by tsarfan at 2:43 AM on November 14, 2002


Not without a good link he doesn't ;) But I've said my piece, so I'll happily move along.
posted by The God Complex at 4:20 AM on November 14, 2002


Nobody has mentioned that if you linger on his site, it auto-reloads every couple of minutes (or at least it used to back when I actually went there).... doesn't this up the counter? Hello?
posted by Ben Grimm at 5:37 AM on November 14, 2002


dhartung: Were you around when Drudge reported on Usenet that teen-age fans of Joey Lawrence were so excited at a signing they were "literally lactating"?
posted by rcade at 5:42 AM on November 14, 2002


re: dhartung's links... Who knew Drudge started out as Usenet's Weston Esterhazy?
posted by MegoSteve at 6:12 AM on November 14, 2002


i dont like the guy either but i do think that he deserves discussion especially after reaching such an enormous plateau.
posted by tsarfan at 2:43 AM PST on November 14


But I thought nobody cared? And what sort of discussion could possibly be had over this? I'm not trying to be harsh, but dude, come on.

Steve@L: That was just wrong. Wrong, but funny as hell. The horror!
posted by Zulujines at 1:25 AM on November 16, 2002


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