Old Content Still Gets Readers Excited

By | August 5, 2008


Here’s evidence that online publications should try to re-use—and make accessible—old content. The most emailed story on the BBC website at the moment—Aug 5 2008—is actually a story from January 2004:


which is this one:


I have no idea why it is—although the subject matter is pretty compelling, I must admit. (The gadget, it turns out, is not half the price it was back then. You can find it here; the BBC link no longer works.)

Bottom line: Some stories are just too good to allow to grow old.

Update, Aug 23: Further to comments, I don’t think this is deliberate self-promotion. I noticed another story near the top of the most emailed list again today, which didn’t offer anyone any obvious commercial benefit. It was on raining fish, a story from 2004:


2 thoughts on “Old Content Still Gets Readers Excited

  1. Thomas Crampton


    Your point is interesting about old content, but in this case, if I were the company, I’d be paying people to email that story out every day.

    I wonder if their marketing efforts have something to do with the story ranking so high?

    Very funny, though!


  2. Jeremy Wagstaff

    Good point, Tom, would be interesting to look at the BBC’s logs. The odd thing here is that there’s no working link to the company’s website (since it’s changed since the story was written) but I suppose that wouldn’t deter them.

    Do lots of companies do this, I wonder?


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