Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Marriage Calculator, Gannett layoffs and the NY Times

On the same day that Gannett began sending more journalists to the unemployment line, the Marriage Calculator we rolled out at began making the rounds. It was a bittersweet moment for a former newspaper editor who now works at an Internet start up.

As old friends were e-mailing me on facebook about who was being tapped to leave their newsrooms, the Marriage Calculator was pushing traffic on the site through the roof. We were inundated by new signups who wanted to become part of the site's community. One link to the calculator on was later moved to's welcome page. Another link from the New York Times Freakonomics blog added to the mix.

According to Google's hot trends for the day, marriage calculator, and divorce calculator were the top search terms -- in order of first to third. Those search terms ranked above: "Week 14 NFL power rankings", "Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair Photo", "the Gator Bowl" and "Britney Spears Good Morning America."

Before the day was over, I couldn't tell whether to laugh or cry. I did both. Someday perhaps journalism will see more days like the one we had yesterday on the site and fewer like the one faced by my former newspaper colleagues. I can only hope.

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