The Register's well-named social media guru, Sonya Quick, said a 10-car wreck in Newport Beach was responsible for the spike. From her email to Poynter:
Three people died in the accident. The story’s many versions accounted for a large portion of our mobile traffic over the weekend.
Social: The original story was shared 323 times on Facebook and in 26 tweets. The follow-up story was shared 148 times on Facebook and in 16 tweets. I have seen that social links are a much more significant source of referral traffic on our mobile website when compared to our full website.
E-mail: This story is about people. Based on people being injured who were likely friends and family to many, and based on the number of social shares, I’m guessing that the story was shared via e-mail much more than an average story.
Alert: The accident resulted in a 10-hour closure of West Coast Highway (also known as Pacific Coast Highway) on Saturday. Our newsroom sent an alert about the accident that alerted thousands of people to the article. (We have a news alert tool built into our content management system which allows us to send breaking news out to text message subscribers, @ocreggiefacebook.com/ocregister fans within seconds). Twitter followers and