New York Times reporter Brian Stelter was sleepy today, and he tweeted about it: "No matter what I try today, I just can't seem to wake up today. Even the NYT nap room didn't help. Hmm. Maybe I'll tweet myself awake." Apparently, this nap room business intrigued his followers so the The Times's media reporter reported back with a photo, posted to his Tumblr. But upon seeing the photo something was immediately clear: the nap room at The New York Times pales in comparison to the nap room at The Huffington Post. Fashion designer Nanette Lapore tweeted a photo of the nap room at HuffPost/AOL headquarters six weeks ago, and we're not sure if that spaceship contraption looks relaxing or just scary. It looks a little like Rick Moranis in Space Balls minus Rick Moranis.
Since we're on the topic of competition between The Times and The HuffPo, May's traffic numbers showed that Arianna's site leapfrogged the paper of record in web traffic for the first time ever. In an email to us, The New York Times mentioned that newest Huffington Post traffic number included unique visitors redirected from AOLNews.com. Jeff Bercovici dug into the numbers that the data reported by comScore, the advertising industry standard, that noted HuffPost passing The Times in May. He also included this handy graph of the two sites' traffic. "A Huffpo spokesman disputed that, telling me that combined traffic is up," Bercovici wrote on Forbes. "But according to comScore’s data, it’s not, or at least not consistently."
Folks at The Huffington Post noticed the reports and scurried to clarify the AOL redirect information that The Times was spreading. (And at least one editor was also not happy with Bercovici for his takedown.) The period before the @NYTimesComm is relevant because tweets that start with an @ symbol are normally only sent to those who follow both the tweeted and the person to whom tweeted was sent. The period makes sure that all 1,071,512 of Huffington Post's followers got this message:
.@NYTimesComm Sorry guys, this is just for Huffingtonpost.com. AOL sites not included.
The Times asked for further clarification:
@HuffingtonPost So, are you saying that AOLNews.com does not redirect to HuffingtonPost.com?
The New York Times fired back Friday afternoon, pointing out how The Huffington Post tweet is a little misleading as AOLNews would presumably count as AOL traffic:
We asked a spokesperson at The Huffington Post about the distinction between AOLNews traffic and The Huffington Post traffic. "We are not counting anything--comScore is counting the number of unique visitors that HuffPost gets each month," he replied with emphasis.