Over at The Plum Line, Greg Sargent reports that Sarah Palin's recent climate change op-ed is off-the-charts popular, "coming in 21st in page views out of literally hundreds of opinion articles." He also notes that the piece "has been widely criticized as riddled with falsehoods." So, in case you missed this -- wide criticism results in page views.
That's how this "link economy" works:
A lot of this is probably driven by heavy outside linkage. But still, the fact that Sarah Palin, of all people, is able to command such attention for her views on the science of climate change, of all things, is kind of amazing.
Well, I'm not so sure it's "amazing." I'm not a search engine optimization guru by any stretch of the imagination, but outside of that time that Michael Jackson's untimely death nearly destroyed the Internet, Sarah Palin seems to be the best thing going when it comes to garnering clicks in 2009.
And every time she updates her Facebook page, the Angel of Page Views accumulates mad frequent-flyer miles. When Sarah speaks, an army of detractors and an army of supporters get on their perches, link back to the source and send traffic merrily on its way.
This is what's so ironic about her self-styled "me against the media" pose: the very worst thing she could do to the media is to stop reminding her of her existence.
But don't worry, media. That's not likely to happen anytime soon. If there's any slight cause for alarm, it's that Sarah Palin's previous op-ed column has thus far outperformed her more recent one, despite the fact that this latest piece garnered more coverage. As Sargent notes: "An earlier Palin Op ed in the paper on the same topic was the third most read of the year." Maybe the law of diminishing returns has taken effect. But maybe she just has yet to accumulate the requisite number of page views.
If there's anything I wonder about, it's this: why did the Washington Post hold a punditry contest, requiring them to pay a stipend to an obscure writer, when they can get Sarah Palin for free? Seems awfully shortsighted now.
That said, on behalf of the media, I'd like to send my appreciation to former-sometime Governor Palin for doing everything she can to keep us all in business.