Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have intensively studied the New York Times list of most-e-mailed articles, checking it every 15 minutes for more than six months, analyzing the content of thousands of articles and controlling for factors like the placement in the paper or on the Web home page. Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list. In general, they found, 20 percent of articles that appeared on the Times home page made the list, but the rate rose to 30 percent for science articles, including ones with headlines like “The Promise and Power of RNA.” (I swear, the science staff did nothing to instigate this study, but we definitely don’t mind publicizing the results.)
The mobile web has become such a significant part of our everyday lives that 35% of people are firing up apps on their smartphones before getting out of bed, according to an Ericsson ConsumerLab study. Furthermore, 18% of consumers use social networking apps before they rise for the day; 10% use them while commuting, 34% use them late in the evening and 20% use them in bed before going to sleep.
Kevin Dando, PBS Director of Digital Marketing and Communications on Twitter: @kdando
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