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Why are they so popular?


King of Bling

11:33 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

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 Is the survey data skewed/outdated?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?



4:34 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

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.


8:09 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

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


8:20 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

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.


9:14 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

> 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?)


10:43 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

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


4:28 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

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

Perhaps they could be retitled - Tributes -


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