Twitter is a publisher’s dream. It is a huge echo chamber that can drive a lot of quality traffic to articles, especially if the retweets take off.
Retweets are referrals. The 'RT' abbreviation is a strong call to action. People trust their virtual friends to steer them in interesting directions, otherwise they wouldn’t be following them in the first place. As such retweets can generate lots of clicks, and they can quickly go viral.
In addition, there are a range of websites orientated around retweets. Think Digg, but instead of ‘diggs’ you have ‘retweets’, and usually these links are displayed in order of popularity (and not buried / subject to a complex algorithm to determine front-page status). These sites can be traffic drivers too. One of my favourites is the excellent TweetMeme.
So, considering the opportunity here, how can publishers make the most out of Twitter, and optimise the retweet factor?
How fast are bloggers? According to researchers at Cornell University, it typically took bloggers two and a half hours during the 2008 US presidential campaign to pick up on stories that were broken by the mainstream media.
That conclusion was reached by using computers to analyze 1.6m websites between August and October 2008. All told, these websites published around 90m blog posts and articles.
The buzz in the consumer internet right now is real-time. Twitter and Facebook have put the
spotlight on real-time but now tech giants like Google and Microsoft
are giving real-time the time of day.
Where is this all leading? Is real-time the most important thing taking
place on the internet today as some believe or is it the next overhyped
Earlier today I wrote about whether a news aggregator could be a success in the UK. Prospects are not good, and even Briton Nick Denton, founder of Gawker.com, says he wouldn't dare do it.
However, despite the pessimism, there exists an interest in giving it a try. The first major entrant into the UK news aggregation scene looks to be Cambridge-based Broadersheet.com.
How do you sell hardcovers for $26.99 when your book argues that information wants to be free? When you're Chris Anderson, you give away "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" online.
Anderson takes issue with critics — most notably so far Malcolm
Gladwell — who think his book argues that "information wants to be free."
According to Anderson, "Some information wants to be
free. And some information wants to be really expensive."
And the "LongTail" author and Wired editor is hoping that while readers can access the online version of his book for free, they'll still want to pay to read the book in hardcover form.
The strategy stands to gain Anderson some points in the attention economy for walking his talk of free, but will his publisher make any money giving away his goods for free?
Video portal Hulu has come a long way since it was colloquially known as "Clown Co.” The website has since gotten a real name, design raves and 10% of the online video ad market.
And as video sites like YouTube struggle to bring in ad revenue and portals like Joost shutter, Hulu's network supported business model seems even stronger.
Today The New York Times discusses the reasons why Hulu works. Mostly, it's because they just throw network content up on the Internet unscathed.
For many, when it comes to writing
product descriptions for their e-commerce website, it is a one-way
ticket to Boresville! You can tell they'd rather have their teeth
pulled, Orin Scrivello style, than sit down and write some copy that
sells (heck, even more easier than just to go and control-c some
competitors copy, right?)
Twitter autoresponders are used to automatically send a direct message
to new followers. All too often they are lame, and perceived as spammy.
Auto messages are problematic, not least because even when they include
elements of the ‘personal’ (“how can I help you today?” / “tell me more
about yourself”) they’re clearly robotic. And people don’t respond to
robots, they respond to people. This is 'social' media after all.
I don’t use them, nor have we configured our Econsultancy
Twitter account to send automated messages, but we’ve been wondering
whether they can be used in a positive way. As such I have been doing a little research in this area. And I'd love to hear your feedback...
Paid content and subscription services are hot once again thanks to an economic downturn that has reminded online publishers that ad revenues are not impervious.
But paid content isn't easy online (newspapers can attest to that) and many publishers inevitably fail at making the transition from free to paid. Here are several ways you can boost your chances of succeeding when selling content online.
Disclosure is a touchy subject when it comes to blogging and digital journalism. Most of the time, the debate is centered on when disclosure is necessary. But what happens when disclosure isn't enough?
As I was going through my feed reader yesterday, I came across a post on Silicon Alley Insider (SAI) that serves as the perfect example of why a debate about journalistic ethics and standards online can't be limited to the topic of disclosure.