About that graphic comparing the Trenta to the stomach…

Charles Apple points to an explanation from Canada’s National Post, getting at the details of how the illustration you’ve clearly already seen — the one comparing Starbucks cup sizes to the average human stomach — from which we learn a bit about the convoluted nature of news today.

To summarize the sequence:

  1. Reuters moves a story on the Trenta.
  2. National Post graphic artist gets to work.
  3. National Post puts it on their blog.
  4. National Post puts it on their Tumblr.
  5. Graphic goes viral.
  6. Graphic shows up on CNN, where Anderson Cooper, not really up on the Canadian newspaper industry, credits the National Post with a sort of vague but enthusiastic attribution, calling it “a website.” Well, sure, but.

Perhaps the most interesting question about this, which Charles Apple asks: Did this graphic ever appear in print?

I’m not sure the answer matters, really, other than as evidence that you can create original content and drive loads of traffic (fleeting as it may be in this case) to your original content, even if it’s just an online illustration intended to gussy up an interesting wire story.

More fun questions: OK, so the traffic came and went, but did the National Post expand its reach by scoring some new Facebook fans, Tumblr followers, Twitter followers? Probably.

One Reply to “About that graphic comparing the Trenta to the stomach…”

  1. Hey Ryan! I wrote the “Tumblr to TV” post you’ve linked to on the National Post Editors blog.

    Great post, and good question re: expanding our reach. I looked into this, and we did see some follower gains on Twitter and Tumblr that I wanted to share.

    On Twitter, there was a 35% spike in new followers during “Starbucks Week” compared to the two weeks’ previous. (http://twittercounter.com/compare/nationalpost/month/followers) As you can see, not a huge jump in terms of real numbers (and of course we can’t conclusively tie that spike to the Starbucks graphic specifically), but an interesting jump nonetheless.

    On Tumblr, where the graphic first began to spread, the gains were more significant. In its first two months of existence, our Art & Design Tumblr (nationalpost.tumblr.com) had gathered just under 500 followers. In the 2.5 weeks since the graphic went viral, we’ve more than doubled that number and currently have 1,011 followers. So huge impact there.

    If you have any other questions, let me know!

    chris

    PS: Yes, the graphic also appeared in print.

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