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Monthly web report: Oscars coverage a highlight

March 3, 2009 | 12:27 pm

Here are notes on February numbers at latimes.com from Interactive Executive Editor Meredith Artley:

Colleagues:

February was a good month. Our Oscars coverage was a major highlight, with live blogging and fast filings, a stream of outstanding staff photography, and an Oscars quiz for Facebook users. The day after, more great photo galleries, video and analysis clearly resonated with readers when we set a daily traffic record for the year so far of 8.7 million page views. 

It was also a strong month for local coverage, with the relaunch of L.A. Now (which broke a new readership record) and the well-received Mapping L.A. project where users continue to discuss the boundaries and characteristics of their neighborhoods.

We had 128 million page views in February, up 25% from this time last year. About 23 million unique users visited us last month, an increase of 54% over last year. And our local audience has grown nearly 30% in the past year.

Work on the homicide and crime databases continues. Improvements to Mexico Under Siege are coming. We kicked off a neighborhoods project to bring together geographic information (think schools, real estate, crime, upcoming events, recent articles/photos/videos from us and elsewhere on the Web) and provide a place for discussion and debate within communities tbd. The idea is to package all the great stuff we have through a very local lens, and to create places on the site for readers to talk about the places they care about. And work continues on the Big Site Redesign.

Most-viewed articles, most-viewed photo galleries, top RSS feeds and more are in the jump.

Most-viewed articles for February
1. Mexico Under Siege: Families want answers from man who says he dissolved 300 people (Richard Marosi)
2. Octuplets' birth spawns outrage from public (Jessica Garrison, Kimi Yoshino and Catherine Ho)
3. Legislature adjourns with no budget; governor prepares to lay off 10,000 (Jordan Rau and Eric Bailey)
4. Simple elixir called a 'miracle liquid' (Marla Dickerson)
5. California farms, vineyards in peril from warming, U.S. energy secretary warns (Jim Tankersley)
6. Suspect leads police on low-speed pursuit in a Bentley, kills self during standoff (Carol J. Williams and Andrew Blankstein)
7. Taxing pot could become a political toking point (Eric Bailey)
8. California budget negotiations hit a new snag (Eric Bailey and Patrick McGreevy)
9. Debt finally topples a Las Vegas high roller (Richard C. Paddock)
10. Jeremy Lusk dies at 24; freestyle motocross star (Pete Thomas)

Blogs
Our blogs broke a traffic record for February – impressive given it was a short month. Three blogs had more than a million page views. A warm welcome to Pete Thomas and his Outposts into the top 10. Congrats to Dodger Thoughts and Idol Tracker -– both new blogs -– on their strong showings. Blogs with an asterisk broke individual page view records.

1. Dish Rag - 3,224,676 *
2. L.A. Now - 2,443,674 *
3. Top of the Ticket - 1,276,706
4. Gold Derby - 898,618 *
5. Pop & Hiss - 739,750 *
6. Show Tracker - 678,270
7. Fabulous Forum - 576,199
8. Lakers - 528,093
9. Technology - 527,553
10. Outposts - 426,816 *
11. L.A. Unleashed *
12. Idol Tracker *
13. Dodger Thoughts
14. Hero Complex
15. L.A. Land
16. Daily Mirror *
17. Comments Blog *
18. All the Rage
19. Booster Shots
20. Culture Monster *

Fun facts from Lindsay Barnett:
* Last February we had an all-time traffic record with 5,764,230 PVs. We almost tripled it this month.

* Dish Rag’s traffic this February was almost 15 times what it was a year ago.
* L.A. Now’s traffic this February was more than 10 times what it was a year ago.

Video

1. Exclusive: Octuplets’ mom speaks to KTLA in 2006 - 28,408 streams (KTLA)
2. Garrett McNamara on the search for big wave surf - 25,668 (LAT)
3. Octuplet mom tells of depression - 19,249 (KTLA)
4. Octuplet mom may not get babies in current living situation (KTLA)
5. Scientists discover fossils of 45-foot long snake (AP)
6. Mother of octuplets says she is done having children (AP)
7. Frozen Heat: A global warming threat from the Arctic (LAT)
8. Miracle liquid cleans, degreases & treats athlete’s foot (KTLA)
9. Plane vanishes after take-off from Catalina Island (KTLA)
10. T. J. Simers previews the Westminster Kennel Club dog show (LAT)
Highlights from Scott Anger, our video chief:

Sachi Cunningham produced a cool video about big wave surfer Garrett MacNamara for a Column One feature written by Joe Mozingo.  A longer version of the video is planned for the new LAT/KTLA Column One monthly program scheduled to debut in May. In food, check out the SLS Hotel restaurant Bazaar, the virally popular Korean Taco Truck and a man who ate his way around the world here in L.A.

Don Kelsen produced a beautifully shot piece on the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on the Central Coast. Myung Chun teamed up with T.J. Simers for a series of funny videos about the Westminster Dog Show in New York. Jeff Amlotte and Dan Neil showed how to fill Honda’s new hydrogen car. In Entertainment, Myung is working with Lora Victorio on a new video series titled Idol Confessions that has former contestants in our studio talking about life after the show.

Most-viewed photo galleries

1. Road trips from SoCal: California (produced by Jason La and Mary Forgione, written by the Travel staff)
2. Famous or fame-ish? (produced and written by LAT and Zap2It staff)
3. Ultimate guide to the world: Susan Spano’s 10 places to visit in 2009 (produced by Jason La and Mary Forgione, written by Susan Spano)
4. Shulamit Nazarian brings a modern touch to a 1973 A. Quincy Jones home
5. Celebrity and Sports Collide in L.A.
6. Movie catchphrase 101
7. Celebrity tantrums
8. LOC Architects’ Chinatown remodel
9. ‘Dancing With the Stars’ season 8
10. The Grossman House in Beverly Hills

See http://latimes.com/tweets for a full list of 80+ active LAT accounts.

New: Top RSS feeds

1. California | Local News – 44k+ subscribers
2. Top News Headlines – 22+k
3. World News – 9k+
4. Business –7+k
5. Travel – 5k+
6. National – 5+k
7. Sports – 5+k
8. Food & Dining – 5+k
9. Entertainment News – 4+k
10. Movie News – 3,800+

New: Top 10 Twitter accounts

1. @latimes -- 6,742 followers/subscribers
2. @latimestravel – 4,231 [Travel blog crew, live updates from Travel Show]
3. @latimesfood – 2,998 [Rene Lynch + Test Kitchen co.]
4. @latimestech – 2,565 [Chris Gaither + co.]
5. @latimesnews – 2,158 [Top News headlines auto-feed]
6. @latimeslocal – 1,718 [Live-twittered Sacramento budget debates]
7. @latimesbooks  -- 1528 [Mary Forgione + co.]
8. @latimesbiz  - 1,528 [automated RSS feed]
9. @latimessports – 1,079 [automated RSS feed]
10. @LA_now – 1,028 [automated RSS feed]

Andrew Nystrom, social media guru, notes these highlights for the month:

* Sacramento bureau live-twittering California budget debates
* Mid-month launch of @LATimesCityDesk Twitter account in Metro
* Twitter and general social media intro discussion sessions with Metro, National, Foreign

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