Addicted to novelty since 2001

My Last Name Isn’t Broadfoot

Occasionally, people mistake my last name for ‘Broadfoot’. Presumably this is because Broadfoot is a more common last name. Also, I know at least one person who thought my name online was actually ‘Darren, Barefoot’ like ‘Darren, Purple’ or ‘Darren, Verklempt’. My actual last name, I guess, sounds pretty unlikely.

My friend pointed out the most recent example in The Globe and Mail. It’s some pretty lazy journalism in a piece about wallets:

On the blog there’s an exchange on wallet alternatives that ends with the comment: “I’m less organized now but at least my ass looks great.”

The writer, Mike Miner, is referring to this post about wallet alternatives. Not only does he get the URL wrong, but he fails to include the complete URL (which isn’t that long) or cite the source of that quote (a comment from one Ross Thomas). Lastly (because they couldn’t, I guess), the online edition doesn’t link to the entry.

Actually, in my experience and that of my clients, getting your URL mentioned in (mostly, in the case of the Globe) offline media has a surprisingly small effect on your visitor stats. We had a client get a small mention with URL in The New York Times. On the publication day, their visitor numbers were only four times that of a normal day. Of course, it resulted in a bunch of sales, but that wasn’t necessarily reflected by the web stats.

6 Responses to “My Last Name Isn’t Broadfoot”

  1. Travis

    That was always the big flaw (well one of the big flaws) with Cuecat. They assumed you’d sit down and read a print publication when you were next to your computer.

    Me, I almost never do — when I’m online, I read online stuff, and when I’m offline, I read newspapers and magazines. So while a print mention can be good “exposure” it’s rarely good for an instant traffic boost the way a mention on a good blog or online news site is.


  2. Heather

    Funny…I was skimming through the article, and I knew it was your blog right away – didn’t even notice that the url was wrong. Oh, well.

  3. Derek

    As I mentioned to Darren et. al. at lunch last week, when my blog got much less traffic years ago, a newspaper mention used to spike my traffic. Now, with 1000+ visitors a day anyway (still much less than Darren), a print mention gets lost in the noise. The spikes come from other websites (Dave Shea’s Mezzoblue, other big web design sites, Darren’s site, even Wikipedia).

  4. Rob Cottingham

    Speaking as someone who gets Rod Cunninghammed all the time, I sympathize. (Maybe this is the Web equivalent of misheard lyrics. You might get rich selling a novelty book full of mistaken URLs…)

    Meanwhile, I’d be interested in knowing: with that NYT mention, was it just a one-day spike for your client, or was there some lasting boost to their traffic?

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