Our report last week about the record-breaking August numbers for LATimes.com included the rather remarkable stat of 3.5 million page views registered by the relatively new blog “Ministry of Gossip.” So we thought we’d check in with Christie D’Zurilla (pictured), the USC print journalism and chemistry major (!) who runs the site. She began her career at the Orange County Register before landing at the Times feature-entertainment copy desk in 2003.
“When we started the blog from scratch, the idea of hitting a million monthly page views seemed outrageous,” D’Zurilla tells FishbowlLA via email, “until we did it the first full month out of the gate (thanks, Tiger Woods and Adam Lambert). One of the coolest things about our August numbers and what they represent is that our readers came for a variety of stories across the board, rather than spiking on some huge scandal that broke on a holiday weekend.”
D’Zurilla, who shares the Ministry page with fellow blogger Matt Donnelly, references one of his recent items as an example of the fringe benefits that come with increased traffic. “I was the first person to hunt down and interview the Old Spice Guy, Isaiah Mustafa, in February 2010. Back then, it took eight days before anyone found the story and picked it up–even counting our LAT compadres.”