Turns Out Yesterday’s News Is More Interesting Than We Thought

So much for the expression “that’s about as interesting as yesterday’s news.”

Since the early days of newspapers, editors have been obsessed with breaking news faster than the competition. But as newspapers and other websites deploy Facebook’s Open Graph — making it easier for readers to share stories with friends, and for publishers to see which articles garner the most reader attention — there’s emerging evidence that good (or weird or funny or important) stories don’t lose their relevance as quickly as we once thought.

The above image is a slide lifted from Barbarian Group CEO Benjamin Palmer’s OPA presentation. Apparently London’s Independent, as it rolled out the Open Graph, learned that several quirky stories from the late 1990s are the most shared stories of the early 2010s. (More data here.) If news publishers are sitting on a goldmine of buried archival content, imagine the opportunity for publishers outside the breaking-news category if they can figure out how to resurface those great stories from last month, last year, or a decade ago.

Meanwhile I wonder if this will inspire a rebranding exercise for the folks at Yesterday’s News kitty litter.

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