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Traffic To Soars After Skip Gates' ArrestWed, Jul 22, 2009Category: Celeb 2.0, Diversity, Web 2.0, social media Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this showed impressive editorial and marketing savvy with its coverage of the arrest Monday of Harvard University professor Henry Louis "Skip" Gates Jr.

No surprise there.

Gates, one of America's preeminent scholars, started with Donald E.

Graham, chief executive of the Washington Post Co.

The affiliation with Gates helped theRoot offer some of the best coverage of the incident, which drew national headlines.The result was a huge spike in traffic for the site, which attracted more than 1 million unique visitors in June and figures to see that number grow.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, "the root" had become the 16th most searched phrase on Google, one of the best performances ever for an African-American oriented site.Gates, the director of Harvard's W.E.B Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research, was arrested Monday after returning to his home in Cambridge, Mass., from an overseas trip.

A woman had called police after reporting seeing "two black males with backpacks on the porch" of a two-story home near the Harvard campus.

It turned out that the two men were Gates and his driver, and Gates was merely trying to enter his home through a jammed front door.

Police arrived and Gates was later charged with disorderly conduct after police claimed Gates confronted them.The story quickly spread across the Internet, with supporters of Gates calling his arrest blatant racial profiling.

The charges were soon dropped — but stayed all over the story with analysis, commentary and pictures.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, nearly 400 story comments had been placed by visitors to the site, and theRoot's coverage was linked on social networking sites all across the Internet.A big part of theRoot's package was a statement from Gates' attorney discussing the incident, and that piece likely led to the big spike in traffic.

The site's coverage was both superb and fair, as it took advantage of rare access and parlayed it into one of the biggest viral stories on the 'net.Related PostsBlack Web 2.0 Show: Interview with Omar Wasow Co-founder of and Product Strategist for TheRoot.comtheRoot of DesignCNN and Facebook Present Live Coverage of Michael Jackson Memorial ServiceAfrican American Broadband Usage Below Average, Use of Mobile Web on the RiseTechnology's Role In Reporting Violence In KenyaTags: racial profiling, Skip Gates, theroot.comThis post was written by:Barry Cooper - who has written 2 posts on Black Web 2.0.I have been knocking around the digital world since, well, a very long time.

I can remember watching AP stories crawl across the screen on 300-baud dial-up during the early days of Compuserve and Prodigy.

And yes, I vividly remember those pay-by-the-hour days on AOL.

Since those early times I have held a variety of jobs in the interactive space, but I am probably best known for founding the original

I raised $5 million in start-up money from Tribune Co.

and hired a staff totaling nearly 40, with offices in L.A., Chicago and New York.

Later, we sold the company to AOL, where it continues to thrive as one of the leaders in its category.

Today I am still active in the space consulting with folks on a variety of projects.

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