Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The things we email.

One of my favorite kernels of information is the list of most emailed articles at nytimes.com. I'm not about to claim that analyzing the tendencies of the typical Times reader is like getting research straight from Peoria, but this list offers interesting insights nonetheless, especially when it's reviewed on a regular basis. In fact, I think it can help marketers remind themselves that their customers are honest-to-goodness people who are interested in most things for very human reasons.

Here's the list of the most emailed articles right now:

1) Exploring Tuscany's Lost Corner
2) From the 'Dog Whisperer,' a Howl of Triumph
3) For the Families of the Dying, Coaching as the Hours Wane
4) The Dixie Chicks: America Catches Up With Them
5) Clintons Balance Married and Public Lives
6) What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?
7) Expanding on Jefferson
8) Home on the Range: A Corridor for Wildlife
9) Vast Data Cache About Veterans Is Stolen
10) A Desperate Rush to Save a Derby-Winning Colt

And my analysis:

1) We all loathe the thought of spending a vacation in a place that's overrun by other tourists. So cheesy and pedestrian. And no one cares about your stories when you get back because they've already been there. Humans love discovery.
2) Most people really love dogs.
3) We never get used to loss. We all want help or know someone who needs it.
4) Some love 'em. Some hate 'em. Polarizing people do get attention. So do polarizing brands.
5) Some love 'em. Some hate 'em. We're all still fascinated by what they do and how they stay married.
6) Proof that people still read books, love books and want to discuss books. Probably passed around by every member of a neighborhood book club.
7) Not every powerful American celebrity is in Hollywood. Many people are as sick and tired of Paris Hilton as you are.
8) We all want to escape the rat race. Until we actually do. Then we get bored and wonder where all the good restaurants are. Better to just read about it.
9) Identity theft freaks out everyone.
10) Animals have a curious pull on us. Who didn't cry when Old Yeller died?


Anonymous Lisa W. said...

Amazon.com's vast database offers lists of books popular in companies, cities, etc. According to the site, "This list of books is uniquely popular in Kalamazoo, MI, as compared with the rest of the country":
1. Sounds From the Heart: Learning to Listen to Girls
2. Scope and Methods of Political Science
3. Selection and Use of Engineering Materials
4. In Search of Excess: The Overcompensation of the American Executive
5. Politics and the American Economy

11:12 AM  
Blogger Black Lab Five said...

You're right, Lisa. Amazon is a great, free source for a top-line look at local behavior. We've used it to come up with promotional ideas for clients. And it's fascinating to see the differences between communities.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can ANYONE be sick and tired of Paris Hilton?
- Kabira Hatland

6:01 PM  

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