I have seen the future of getting increased blog hits and it is Facebook. Above is a graph of my blog hits this past week. I am quite satisfied with my usual readership. I have jumped close to a million ranking spaces since I have started.
Then along came Wednesday the 20th of May. Canadian police arrested Terri-Lynne McClintic and Michael Thomas Rafferty for abducting, sexually abusing and killing an eight year old girl. The parallels with the Bernardo/Homolka case were eerie, and the topic was brought up on Facebook forums. When you google "Karla Homolka 2009", my blog tops the list. The hits exploded by 1000% on this blog.
The interesting thing is that there is nothing less interesting than yesterday's news. In two days, the spike was over. In this modern world of the internet, attention span is short. USA Today saw that when they launched their highly abbreviated newspaper. Regular journals blasted them for bubble-gum, attention deficit disorder journalism. It turns out that USA Today was right.
All of this begs the interesting question as to what really grabs people and keeps them coming back time after time. The answers are in front of us. The first is the medium like Facebook. Marshall McLuhan was sort of right. He said that the medium was the message.
The second thing, is titillation. Sites like TMZ.com provide that on a regular basis. A recent edition of The Economist that I picked up in the business section of a 747 bound for Paris has a term for this. They call it E-HEDONISM. It is why most of the Chinese and developing country youth surf the web. It is easy to get cybersex, launch into virtual relationships even though you resemble a pimply turnip and get to enter a fantasy world that trumps real life every time.
Strangely enough, Alvin Toffler predicted all of this in his seminal book Future Shock. The only thing that he did not predict is the internet, but he can be forgiven for that. One man did. However when I read Toffler and his conclusions about the rapidity of change and shorter attention spans and novel forms of hedonism, I really didnt give much credence to it. If I had, today I would be richer than Bill Gates. Hindsight is 20/20.
If Google brought you here looking for McClintik or Rafferty, just click on the "Female Serial Killer" label below.