Journalists should learn to love Web traffic data

A sports­writer here at the Chronicle tweeted a link to this arti­cle by Jason Fry a cou­ple weeks ago, extolling the ben­e­fits of learn­ing about your online traf­fic num­bers. Of note:

Some writ­ers instinc­tively resist learn­ing about their traf­fic. They see their job as get­ting and telling the story — pretty hard jobs in their own right. How the story is pre­sented to read­ers is some­one else’s respon­si­bil­ity — and num­bers are the province of the bean-counters on the busi­ness side. Moreover, there’s a sus­pi­cion that pub­lish­ers will use traf­fic num­bers to make cov­er­age deci­sions, opt­ing for a diet heavy on slideshows and scandal.

Not a bad read, espe­cially for writ­ers who think that they can insu­late them­selves from the Web the same way many think they can insu­late them­selves from the money side of the business.