Yesterday the History channel ran a marathon of America Unearthed. I did not know this at first, but soon my email inbox filled up with messages, blog comments, and other communiqués expressing the typical range of opinion—everything from exasperation at History’s falling standards to anger at my alleged obsession with the program. This happens every time the parent network reruns the H2 channel’s highest-rated show and thus exposes it to a new and larger audience that it receives on the niche digital-tier channel.
Let me put this in context: Yesterday, during the America Unearthed marathon, my blog hits quadrupled over the previous seven days’ average. During just the few hours the show ran on History, I received more new, first-time visitors than I do in an average week. For the first time ever, nine out of the top ten search terms people use to reach my site were variations on Scott Wolter and the America Unearthed topics. The tenth? My name. A whopping sixteen out of the top twenty search terms were related to America Unearthed, with three for Ancient Aliens and one for me. And that’s for the whole month, not just yesterday. Ancient Aliens needs to start getting new episodes on the air stat, before the public completely abandons it.
Drilling down, it’s especially interesting that most of these visitors arrive on my website from Google in one of its many permutations worldwide. (Hello to new visitors from Canada, India, Britain, and Australia!) This strongly implies that viewers of America Unearthed are going online to try to learn more about the program and Scott Wolter (and indeed the blog comments and emails anecdotally support this conclusion) and then are disappointed by H2’s paltry offerings and Wolter’s inexplicable decision not to have a personal website. Depending on your Google personalization settings, my website is one of the top matches for Scott Wolter’s name, just as it is for Giorgio Tsoukalos’s. I presume this is not the ideal outcome for either.
(Incidentally: Wolter’s new book, Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers, is still not shipping, more than six weeks after its alleged publication date. I had hoped to review it this summer.)
I’ve gotten tired of trying to dig up the links to my various America Unearthed reviews, so yesterday I put up a new index page, which is linked here and in the Articles section of my site, as well as on the right hand blog information column. And now to forestall any more angry emails for people claiming I am obsessed with the show, I’ve also put up an index page to my Ancient Aliens reviews. At three times the number of my America Unearthed reviews, I think you can see that despite the wild popularity of my America Unearthed coverage, it’s hardly the overwhelming obsession so many readers—who see nothing but those reviews—think it is.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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