I learn a lot about leadership by overseeing the painstaking but ultimately rewarding process of compiling the Forward 50 each year, of trying to identify the American Jews who have had the greatest impact on our lives in a variety of fields, from politics to culture to sports. And I learn even more about leadership by analyzing how these 50 profiles are read.
One of the astonishing aspects of doing journalism online is that we can ascertain how many people click on a given story down to the person. In print, you can only make educated guesses about what stories are read, whether a snappy headline or a compelling photograph will entice the reader to delve deeper, or to turn the page. But online we know precisely how much traffic every item that we post receives, and this can help us understand what touches readers.
For this year’s Forward 50, readers have been touched by the heartfelt, the unusual, the unexpected. As of Monday evening, Nov. 12, the first day all 50 profiles were posted online, the most read was not about the largest political donor in the land, or the superstar singer, or the second ranking leader in the House of Representatives, or even the King of Comedy Central.
No, the most read profile was of Hindy Poupko Galena, a New York City mother who chronicled her baby daughter’s struggle against a fatal disease and galvanized an outpouring of support through cyberspace.
And the surprises continue.
Sarah Silverman isn’t the only funny Jewish lady making suggestive political videos for Obama.
Now comes Lena Dunham, creator of the buzzy HBO show “Girls,” with a video about her first time…voting.
“You want to do it with a great guy,” Dunham says. “You want to do it with a guy who brought the troops out of Iraq.”
Unlike the Silverman videos, which were produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, a super PAC, the new Dunham video is out from the Obama campaign itself.
The mildly suggestive video has drawn some criticism from Republicans online. In a widely quoted tweet, Breitbart contributor wrote: “How could a president with two, young blossoming daughters release an ad as disgusting as this[?]”