Who’s bigger than Mark Zuckerberg? Matt Drudge, that’s who

Matt Drudge is still the king of the hill when it comes to online news. From my new GigaOM editorial, Why Matt Drudge Still Beats Mark Zuckerberg:

Facebook is closing in on 700 million users, but according to a new study by the Pew Research center, the Drudge Report sends more than twice as much traffic to the nation’s top news sites…

Forget the wisdom of the crowd. When it comes to online news, Matt Drudge is the one friend that news outlets really need to have.

Given how news outlets have struggled to adapt to the rise of the web, this should make Matt Drudge a hero. He’s sending outrageous amounts of traffic to traditional news outlets, giving them a chance to monetize their professionally generated content. But if you mention Matt Drudge in the tech world, the best you can hope for is a smirk.

I go on to make the case that Drudge deserves credit for being a truly great web pioneer, and that others online news entrepreneurs who’ve had big pay-days (such as Mike Arrington and Arianna Huffington) owe a debt of gratitude to the trail blazing Drudge, who helped change the way we consume news.