A decade ago, when newspaper and magazine editors prepared their rundown of the year’s most important news stories, they really were just choosing the articles that they thought had the most impact. That was old media.
Today, everything is measured and anything can be quantified—at least on the Internet. In cyberspace, people vote with their clicks, and my list of the top 10 stories of 2011 is based on the stories posted on the Xconomy San Diego website (from Jan. 3 through Dec. 23) that attracted the most traffic. That’s new media.
And a new year is beckoning, so it’s out with the old and in with the new.
Believe it or not, some stories published before 2011 still pulled in a lot of interest over the past year. For example, one of the top stories of 2011 was a post I wrote two years earlier about the pervasive skepticism voiced by biofuels industry leaders during the 2009 Algae Biomass Summit in San Diego. It also is noteworthy, although perhaps no surprise, that a 2009 post I wrote about the first human trial of San Diego-based Histogen’s hair regrowth treatment continues to attract readers who are Googling for news about baldness and hair restoration.
The No. 1 story of 2011, however, was surprising—at least to me. It was a commentary about the dramatic changes underway in new treatments for hepatitis C by San Diego Xconomist Steve Worland, the CEO of San Diego-based Anadys Pharmaceuticals. Worland alludes to the spate of new product introductions by Merck and Vertex, and predicts an increasing number of direct acting, cocktail-type antiviral drugs. It’s a hot topic, although Wall Street’s interest might have been piqued as analysts and traders searched to understand why Roche acquired Anadys for $230 million about five weeks after we published Worland’s op-ed.
It’s also worth noting that these high-traffic stories tend to occur in … Next Page »
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