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.