Need any proof that traditional media can send readers to the Web? Look no further than this week's Doonesbury.
The cartoon, which is in about 1,400 daily and Sunday newspapers and appears online at "Slate," this week features character Mark Slackmeyer as Mr. Honest Voices, referring readers to critiques of the Bush administration and the Iraq war from traditionally conservative sources.
Monday's strip sent so many readers to an essay by Dwight Eisenhower's son on The (Manchester, N.H.) Union Leader's Web site that the site crashed.
On Tuesday, the strip referred readers to an e-mail by a Wall Street Journal reporter in Iraq posted on The Poynter Institute's Web site. That more than doubled traffic for a typical Tuesday, said Bill Mitchell, editor of Poynter Online.
Wednesday's strip mentioned an essay by a former aide to Ronald Reagan on "Salon." By 9:30 a.m., the site had received as many new subscribers as it did the whole previous day, said Patrick Hurley, senior vice president of business operations. "And yesterday was an incredibly good day."
Said Mitchell, "We owe Mark Slackmeyer a tall cold one."