One of the websites that I like best is the New York Times Most Popular page, where you can get links to the most emailed and most blogged stories from the Times, ranked in order. I often find these lists quite telling in terms of defining the average reader of the Times as well as the mood of the country.
Today’s top three emailed stories:
I can get drunk AND lost weight? Has heaven come crashing down to Earth?
Also, health stories related to weight loss, alcohol consumption, and sex invariably make it to the top of this list. Write a story about how the chemical composition in a specific microbrew leads to an improved sex life, which will lead to more calories burned through more frequent and vigorous sex, and you will have yourself a most-emailed story.
The obsessions of America are clear.
The average age of the New York Times reader is over 40. No one under 40 had ever cared about doctor-related stories.
Even though I can’t control my own kid and they have to deal with twenty or thirty similarly-challenging kids per class…
…and even though they often have just as many or more college degrees than the average professional…
…and even though they don’t make nearly as much as their counterparts in private industry….
…teacher still get paid too much money.
Perhaps I’ll post the top three from these lists more often.