Patriotic, Religious Sites Crack Jupiter's Top 50

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Five patriotic and two religious sites were among the newcomers to Jupiter Media Metrix's 50 most-visited Web properties for October, the analyst firm reported yesterday.


Usaflagsdirect.com, a Mesa, AZ-based direct marketer of flags and other patriotic items, was the top newcomer with 3.5 million unique visitors, according to the New York firm. Deskflag.com, which offers a free download that generates an animated U.S. flag, was the second-most-visited newcomer to the list with 3.1 million visitors. Deskflag.com was put up Sept. 26 by Web hosting firm Tiger Technologies at the request of customers and since has received 4.4 million visits, according to a counter on the site.


"It took off much more quickly than we ever expected it to," said Nami Teramoto, business manager for the Oakland, CA, company. "We do Web hosting, so luckily we had the bandwidth."


Teramoto said she suspects the flag program also has been passed around via e-mail by many people, adding that Tiger Technologies has no plans to take the flag program down.


The offering has boosted Tiger Technologies' Web hosting sales and has doubled the sales over last year of a $19.95 Holiday Lights program that frames computer screens with holiday-themed images, like pumpkins for Halloween, she said.


An e-mail request for an interview to Usaflagsdirect.com was not answered by deadline.


Religious site newcomers to Jupiter's top 50 list include Presidentialprayerteam.org, a community site geared toward organizing prayer for the president and his top advisers, with 1.1 million unique visitors, and Oneangel.net, which offers downloads of angelic computer images symbolizing prayer for the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, with 632,000 unique visitors, according to Jupiter.


"While September's newcomer sites focused on news, charity and victims' aid, October's newcomers focus on patriotism and prayer," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of media research, Jupiter Media Metrix. "Online behavior has consistently mirrored public sentiment in the five years that we've been measuring the Internet, and this appears to be as true during October as ever."


To arrive at its figures, Jupiter Media Metrix monitors the Web surfing behavior of a panel of 50,000 volunteers in the United States and extrapolates.


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