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The Rick Roll: How my chance encounter with Governor Perry created social media buzz for 5ksandcabernets

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5ksandcabernets: The Rick Roll: How my chance encounter with Governor Perry created social media buzz for 5ksandcabernets


Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Rick Roll: How my chance encounter with Governor Perry created social media buzz for 5ksandcabernets

Poynter's link sent 5ksandcabernets viral

Tuesday was a crazy day. When I blogged/Twittered/Facebooked about my chance encounter with Texas Governor Rick Perry, I had no idea of the buzz it would generate in social media.

I'm a journalist, and so looking back, I can see why the post had some traction: Perry is a (very) newsworthy individual who had some interesting things to say about the newspaper business and social media, and just days earlier, he had the social media universe in uproar because he blocked some reporters from his twitter feed.

Still, I wasn't writing this post thinking, "Woo-hooo, I'm breaking some news here." I was just blogging from the standpoint of a regular guy who goes home from work and tells his friends, "You won't believe who I ran into today."

The Star-Telegram got the traffic started.

In my Tuesday post, I linked to a column written by Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy on the Perry-Twittergate. On Tuesday morning, Kennedy and Star-Telegram reporter Aman Batheja started the social media parade by referencing my blog post on Facebook posts and in a Star-Telegram politics blog. That got the traffic on 5ksandcaberents off to a red hot start. In the 10 o'clock hour alone, I had 265 pageviews. (I'd never had 265 pageviews in one day in the three-year history of my blog).

Just after the Star-Telegram's link-love, my post was picked up the Poytner Institute's media columnist, Bill Romenesko. (For runners who follow this blog wrinkling their foreheads, this would be akin to a post you wrote being picked up by Runnersworld). Then the Dallas Morning News, D Magazine, and the Fort Worth Weekly, chimed in by linking to the Perry post through their online political content.(The FW Weekly took a cheap shot at the Star-Telegram's mention of me getting a "scoop.")

The Dallas Morning News' link

I also saw the post mentioned on the Houston Chronicle, Texas Watchdog, and the Texas Observer. (Though curiously, it did not get one peep out of the Austin American Statesman, the very place where Governor Perry lays his head each night.) Dozens of people tweeted the post and several people posted messages on my blog, including an editor I used to work for at the Dallas Morning News who remembered a bizarre telephone encounter I once had with the late great Mickey Mantle, five people I used to work with at the Star-Telegram, a guy who runs the only midnight 25k and 50k race in Texas, my brother's wife, and a few other blogging friends and anonymous posters.

Before 2:30, 5ksandcabernets had 1,000 pageviews.

It was fun watching my pageviews go from 200 to 300 to 400 and beyond. During the 2:00 hour, according to my google analytics tracking code, pageviews for the day had reached 1,000. By the end of the day, 5ksandcabernets had drawn 1,097 visitors and 1,312 pageviews.

One of my former Star-Telegram friends said I'm "just like Rebecca Black." I don't think so, though I now what they mean when they say "you've gone viral."

By Wednesday, traffic had gone down to less than 200 pageviews. Obviously, there were a lot more important things for the twitter-verse to talk about, i.e., Perry's use of the rainy-day fund, more developments on the earthquake in Japan, etc. And as I wrote this post today (Thursday), my pageview count for the day was down to 25 - much more normal figures.

The Fort Worth Weekly made fun of my old paper.
I can't imagine the stars in the social media universe lining up just so anytime soon. But the run was fun.
Even D-Magazine (2nd item) ran the post

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Blogger Lindsay said...

haha. you're famous! that's kinda cool. and good thing you were so classy about it :) i definitely did not see it as a reporter-advantage thing, i just read it as "i went to pt and oh look who i saw". hmm maybe you should end up somewhere with j-biebs next!

March 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Single Mom Seeking said...

Well, those of us who've been following you for years have always thought you were awesome... it's about time that noticed :) Bravo!

March 17, 2011 at 11:24 PM  

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