What does it take to knock off K2 Spice readership?

Just the other day, I wrote about how DrugMonkey and I have experienced unprecedented and sustained blog traffic for posts we wrote in February on K2 Spice, one of a couple of marijuana-like "incense" products still sold legally in the United States.

Every morning, I dial up my SiteMeter blog statistics and take a look at what posts readers first land upon when coming to visit the humble world headquarters of Terra Sigillata.

Last week, 2,700 to 2,800 of the 4,000 most recent hits were landing on our February K2 Spice post. (You will also note below the sad state of my readership in that posts on Stiff Nights erectile dysfunction supplement and Horny Goat Weed products are the next most popular direct hits.)

Finally, one post has knocked it out of the top spot after nearly four months:

Monday's post about the memorial unveiling of the gravestone for Henrietta Lacks this past weekend.

i-d4ba3e1a6a463d6f34a80bcc8a768240-Henrietta Lacks knocks off K2 Spice.jpg

I have been completely overwhelmed by the interest in this story. This widespread attention would not be possible without the Facebook and blog referrals by author Rebecca Skloot, The New York Times Science page, and the enthusiastic Twitter referrals by other writers who I respect greatly such as David Dobbs, Sara Goforth, Mike Rosenwald, T. DeLene Beeland, Ted Winstead, scribbler50, Eric Ferreri, - as well as the dozens of you sci/med bloggers and folks from other walks of life who found this post worthy of recommending to your friends.

Please accept my apologies if you were not mentioned by name - I don't have Bora Zivkovic's flair for aggregating and linking to every referral but you have my gratitude for further popularizing the story of Henrietta Lacks and her family.

And for those of you so inclined, here are images of the memorial program that weren't included in the last post:

Dedication program page 1.jpg

Dedication program page 2.jpg

Dedication program page 3.jpg

Dedication program page 4.jpg

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Hey Abel, glad the NYTimes widget sent some traffic your way, but I just thought I'd show you where I first saw the link to this post: the twitter feed of buyk2incense.

As I was saying over at Obesity Panacea about the difficulty of getting rid of sham weight loss ads from our automated ad network, algorithm-based advertising occasionally makes exactly the wrong decisions based on keyword optimization.

But, like spam, the sheer number of people who will click on anything related to sex, drugs, or free money is enough to make such errors totally irrelevant. This phenomenon ensures that Jonah Lehrer's article on gay animals and this short piece on women watching monkey porn will forever be two of SeedMag's most popular articles. You can imagine the search terms that got people there.

You are more than welcome, TS. Was a especially nice post, giving us both the flavor of the day and a feel for how powerfully Lacks' story, related so richly by Skloot, can affect not just you as a researcher and person but your relations with many circles of society. (Plus the pictures were cool.)

I take it this means you're finally finally over that cold!

Evan Lerner - note to self: sex, drugs, free money - but no rock 'n' roll???

David - you are too kind yet again but, yes, my inhaled corticosteroid-induced dysphonia has resolved to the point that I was actually able to speak in church Saturday. I'll be starting speech therapy in two weeks to strengthen my vocal cords and learn good vocal hygiene.

Oh, and by the way: K2/Spice is sadly back on top in this morning's ranking of the last 4,000 hits: K2 over Henrietta 1331 to 781.