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Why are they so popular?
King of Bling

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 11:33 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

In reworking the online Information Architecture for a metro newspaper, I initially moved 'Obits' way, way down the priority list.

I may have judged wrong.

Apparently, there are a few studies circulating news circles showing 'Obits' as a top lead interest driver. I quickly scanned about 20 of the top newspaper sites online and noticed 'Obits' had a prominent (though not top-level) place in their navigation scheme. Could this be true?

I am perplexed.

Can anyone take a guess as to why 'Obits' has such a strong demand and readership? Is the survey data skewed/outdated? Is it true many news readers want to see who's died over their morning coffee?




10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 4:34 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I regularly check the obits to see if I have passed away. Seriously! Who wouldn't want to say, "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated"? I also like to see if those that, uh, I'm not "fond" of are still a thorn in my side.

I've also heard that obits are popular with job seekers - 'after last week's tragedy, there's a job opening at the Post Office' - as well as those with more nefarious purposes in mind.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 8:09 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Heck Balam that's a pretty bleak view.
Surely people are just interested in other peoples lives.
Nothing new in that.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 8:20 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey King,

I work for a major multimedia corporation at one of their newspaper properties and I have to say that yup... that's correct alright. the top of the list is pretty much Obits and classifieds. People evedently want to see if it is anybody they know.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 9:14 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> that's a pretty bleak view

One man's bleak view is another's dark humour... ;)

If I remember the scene correctly, in the movie National Lampoon's Animal House, a couple of the main characters scan the obits to find a sorority girl who had just passed away (car accident?), show up at the sorority house posing as the deceased's boyfriend (& buddy) with no knowledge of the accident - and before you know it, they've got hot, sympathetic sorority chicks hanging off their arms.

Well, I thought it was funny... :)

My shoulder-surfing girlfriend just suggested another popular reason for checking out the obits - apartment hunting. (Is that a New York urban legend?)


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 10:43 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

For some strange feeling reading the obits always makes you feel alive!

Like going to a funeral and coming out of the church on a beautiful day

and feeling grateful to still be among the living! (OK this is starting to

get a little weird! Out!)...KF


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3481784 posted 4:28 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

They sound like the err... (dark humour coming up)
The Killer App.

Perhaps they could be retitled - Tributes -

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