Ed Driscoll

OVER 1 BILLION SERVED: Matt

OVER 1 BILLION SERVED: Matt Drudge has reason to gloat on his Drudge Report site–it’s about to go over one billion Web views:

The WALL STREET JOURNAL declared “Matt Drudge a born loser” [10/24/00, Shafer], the NEW YORK TIMES last week in a Page One story claimed people have been “reduced to logging onto the Web site of the gossip columnist Matt Drudge” [11/06/02, Stanley], but in every state and nearly every civilized nation in the developed world, readers know where to go for action and reaction of news — at least one day ahead. Sometime this afternoon, the DRUDGEREPORT will pass one billion views of the site’s main page: in the past year! Free from any corporate concerns, there are simply too many to thank since the site’s inception in 1994. This new attempt at the old American experiment of full freedom in reporting is ever exciting. Those in power have everything to lose by individuals who march to their own rules.

As I wrote in my SpinTech article about Weblogs, Drudge, in my mind, is where personal news reporting began on the Internet (although there are probably others who would say they’re the Altair of reporting–Drudge is merely the TRS-80 or Apple).

For some background at how Drudge got started, here’s another SpinTech article, from 1999–which is about a decade ago in Internet years.

I don’t think Matt’s success is really repeatable, in that a lot of random elements had to come together in a unique fashion for it to had occurred–being an early Internet adopter, having a wide range of links to reporters on both sides of the aisle, breaking the Lewinsky story, being sued by Sid Blumenthal, riding the crest of the Internet boom, etc. But it is fascinating to watch and learn from.