How to win friends and influence people – Len Brown style

It’s not part of the no8-wire-All-Black-stoic-bastard-she’ll-be-right-mate ethos to continuously toot your own horn, but in our case, if we don’t do it, nobody will.  Whaleoil suffers the usual tall poppy backlash – critics hate us even more because we are successful, and supporters – well, they’ve seen it all before and they would be correct in going “yeah, yeah… number 1, blah blah…”

But to not mark this occasion with some comment would be ridiculous.  Whaleoil’s biggest media moments this year have been (in ascending order)

  • Paul “Weiner” Findlay
  • Aaron “Don’t you know who I am” Gilmore
  • “Lusty” Len Brown

Until yesterday, Whaleoil’s biggest day was serving 98,000 pages.

Yesterday, due to the Len Brown exclusive, the web site served 263,000 pages.

Today, as I write this at 4:30pm update this at 6pm, we’re already up to 280,000 pages – it could easily has set a new record today.

We’re not the only ones to look over the numbers.  Regan Cunliffe at Throng has done some number crunching of his own, comparing On-Demand viewing with the number of visits Whaleoil received.  


He notes

Campbell Live’s deep sea drilling story with Simon Bridges had an average audience of 325,890 viewers.  Not an unusual number and only slightly higher than the previous week.  Up until midnight last night, an additional 30,125 streams of the interview had been made.

Len Brown’s only interview since confessing to an extramarital affair had a slightly lower audience than Monday with 316,730 viewers.  At midnight last night, an additional 8,369 streams had been played.

While many of these stories have ended up spread across all other forms of media, what I find interesting is that the original content producers haven’t really seemed to benefit from it.

However, there is one other element to this that is even more fascinating and that is the number of visitors to WhaleOil since the Len Brown story broke.

More than 200,000 visitors yesterday and almost that already today.  When it comes to having exclusive content, it appears the TV networks aren’t the biggest winners on the day.

Some people love to hate Whaleoil, and others hate to love Whaleoil, but as the numbers show, what can’t be done is ignore Whaleoil.

We work hard at bringing you news, opinion and entertainment that is suitable for this medium.  And although Whaleoil is less squeamish about breaking news about the seedy side of political life, accusations Whaleoil only muck rakes is selective.  We’ve covered financial scandals (Unions breaking the law), we’ve covered employment relation scandals (Ports of Auckland), we’ve covered business scandals (a company passing off as Google to scam money from unsuspecting customers) and we’ve covered consumer scandals.

People are starting to realise two things.  One, that some stories that Old Media won’t touch are still stories that need a platform.  We don’t accept all of them, but for some causes we are their last resort.  Two, that even though Whaleoil utilises a “blog” to publish its content, it is the content itself that makes this collection of people and their work so valuable to follow and keep up to date with.  Cameron Slater and his team are genuinely competing for “viewers” and “readers” against the big two newspapers and big two TV news producers.

And judging by this year’s results, we’re doing it well.

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