One of my duties as Flyer editor is to help post daily news and entertainment content on the Flyer's Web site (MemphisFlyer.com). Since the editorial staff began posting daily items a little more than a year ago, we've learned a lot:
We've learned that we have a loyal (and steadily growing) daily readership. Enough so that we're now regularly selling out our Web ad space. We've learned we have lots of readers who don't hesitate to comment on our articles, which often leads to some pretty heated back-and-forth exchanges.
And we've learned that certain subjects will push the traffic meter over the top. We discovered this a year ago, when we wrote about a Memphis contestant on American Idol and our Web traffic jumped off the charts. The same thing happens whenever we post a story about Elvis or Justin Timberlake — the number of daily visitors doubles.
In short, we've learned that there are ways to manipulate Web traffic to our benefit. But, I hasten to add, we're conscientious about not taking advantage of this by posting items that are not Memphis-related in some way.
This past weekend, I must admit, I decided to experiment. I posted an item entitled "Paris Hilton Has King-Size Bed and Room Service" and posted a link to prove it.
Wooooo-wee! If our normal Web traffic is a wave, this was a freakin' tsunami! It seemed everyone in the U.S. with a computer wanted to read about Paris Hilton's outrageous accommodations.
I suspect they were probably a bit disappointed. You see, the link I posted was to the other Paris Hilton. You know, that fancy hotel located in the capital city of France — with king-size beds and room service.
Was that so wrong?
I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...
The rain is coming down, slow and persistent from a low gray sky. It soaks the grass, fills the gutters, and falls hard on the flowers left on the Beale Street sidewalk outside of B.B. King's club ...