My op/ed about math teaching and Little League coaching is the most emailed article in the New York Times today. Very cool!
But here’s something interesting; it’s only the 14th most viewed article, the 6th most tweeted, and the 6th most shared on Facebook. On the other hand, this article about child refugees from Honduras is
#14 most emailed
#1 most viewed
#1 most shared on Facebook
#1 most tweeted
while Paul Krugman’s column about California is
#4 most emailed
#3 most viewed
#4 most shared on Facebook
#7 most tweeted.
Why are some articles, like mine, much more emailed than tweeted, while others, like the one about refugees, much more tweeted than emailed, and others still, like Krugman’s, come out about even? Is it always the case that views track tweets, not emails? Not necessarily; an article about the commercial success and legal woes of conservative poo-stirrer Dinesh D’Souza is #3 most viewed, but only #13 in tweets (and #9 in emails.) Today’s Gaza story has lots of tweets and views but not so many emails, like the Honduras piece, so maybe this is a pattern for international news? Presumably people inside newspapers actually study stuff like this; is any of that research public? Now I’m curious.
Maybe has something to do with familiarity? California maybe affects a larger number of people with email access who read the NYT than does the Honduras article? Some kind of breakdown on that basis?
It seems right that you are higher on the email rank than on the social media. I’d share you by email with specific friends who are interested in math education but not post your article on Facebook where most would skip on by.
Also, it doesn’t surprise me that Dinesh gets lots of rubbernecking clicks with few shares. Who’s going to admit to an interest in that cr@p.
My bet would be that people are more likely to email articles they find inspiring, and more likely to tweet articles that make them angry.
That hypothesis actually sounds somewhat testable!
I share pointers to interesting things on the web by copying the URL of the page, pasting it into my mailer, and sending that as the email message body. (If I’m worried about paywall shenanigans, or for my own outgoing email archival purposes, I freely admit I may also make the effort to cut and paste the text, or even some times particularly apropos images.)
All the “social sharing” mechanisms creep me out completely, being transparent mechanisms to sell out your set of friends — your friends! and their interests, political and otherwise — to corporations. (Of course the infinitely more evil NSA harvests and forever stores my set of acquaintances whether I use email or some stupid “sharing” link.)
So my sort of sharing doesn’t show up at all. I suspect “my sort” accounts for less than 1% of internet users.
The news media does pay attention to how things are shared or commented on, as do reporters. But that is not to say that it is a good thing. Is content king? or Clickbait? Read this on why one journalist turned away from the profitable business of ghostwriting.
View at Medium.com
“… conservative poo-stirrer Dinesh D’Souza …”
That’s rude and jejune. Is it just a typo? Freudian, maybe?