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The current UK public panic at the petrol pumps started me thinking about the certain similarities with social media. Before you decide that’s a stretch bear with me
Some years ago when I took my first look at analytics I was shocked to discover there was no ‘long tail’ when it came to traffic stats. When you post on a blog or add something to a social network site the impact usually last for a very short time, it’s quite normal for 90% of hits to be in the first 24 hours. That basically means that if you want to engage through social media you need to do it regularly and preferably on a daily basis. Pioneer PR blogger Richard Edelman knew it with his daily ‘6AM’ blog. The founders of BEBO knew it (Blog Early Blog Often).
There are some exceptions, traffic from search tends to increase over time, but it’s no substitute for new content, and without new content your page rank will decline. Social networks, where the content is ephemeral, are on course to drive more traffic than search: for a few days if February Facebook drove more visits to The Guardian than Google did.
The message is simple – if you wanted to fuel traffic you have to make sure that sure that you are providing new content all the time, if you don’t your visitors will fill up somewhere else.
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Tags: Evan Smith, Jill Abramson, NYT, SXSW
Categories : Journalism, Newspapers
It didn’t take long for the Texas Tribune editor Evan Smith to get to the heart of the matter in his interview with New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. Is the metered model really working for the New York Times? Abramson was unequivocal, at 390,000 at the last count, subscribers are a key revenue stream.
So does that mean that we can envisage a time when the print version will go altogether? “I don’t think we’re going to get there any time zoom” said Abramson and with 850,000 print copies still being delivered it is difficult to disagree.
Unsuprisingly Evan Smith is a great interviewer. The post Murdoch Wall Street Journal comes under fire, but Abramson isn’t drawn into criticising the direction the journal has taken under News Corp. “It’s still a major competitor”.
Despite, or maybe because of the paywall, The New York Times has embraced social media both as a way of gathering news and promoting their content “400 reporters are on twitter” says Abramson. Tweetdeck is used as part of the news gathering process.
The New York Times makes the metered model work because it is a powerful brand with loyal readers. Social media is an increasingly important part of the mix and inevitably, in the medium term, that will place pressure on the paywall. Abramson concedes “The free model works in terms of scale in certain ways”.