The Community

How do you measure the success of a piece of online journalism?  By hits?  What’s the point of that if people aren’t reading the article?  By comments?  Not according to Nick Robinson.   By the amount of people willing to pay for the content?  Well, that’s a work in progress. 

According to Joanna Geary, communitites and web development editor for The Times, it is the collaborative stories which rock the boat.  The ones that people come together to rant/rave/dissect… The ones that everyone has read.  So what stops journalists posting sensationalist stories just to generate more hits?  Who is to say that Andrew Marr didn’t make his comment about pimpled bloggers just to generate attention? 

I came across this anti-twitter article by Janet Street Porter on the Mail Online site this week, in which she claims the social media site ‘confuses activity with content.’  From the perspective that Twitter rates trends and tweets by hits, I see what she means.  But as Joanna Geary pointed out during her guest lecture at CJS, one of the best ways to generate traffic and comments is an anti-blogging/twitter article.  So, you could argue that Ms Street-Porter is, whether intentionally or not, practising the very traffic-generating tools she condemns.    After all, the article has generated more than double the number of comments than her last despite being in the public domain for half the time.

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About Jmb

Writer, journalist, mummy, redhead, wine lover, fan of epic fantasy* and Devon-girl-at-heart. Started out as a local newspaper reporter in the cowpatty-idylls of South Devon at the tender age of 21. Since then I have dabbled in radio, TV, online journalism, b2b and novel-writing. After finding self unexpectedly knocked up in January 2013, I gave birth to my blue-eyed girl the following September. Two house moves, one (very soggy) wedding, two unpublished (and several works-in-progress) novels, one triumphant return to work, two 30th birthdays and a LOT of wine later, baby number 2 is expected in the summer of 2017. *and by that I mean staring at Kit Harrington whilst the vast majority of all politically spellbinding, ethically ambiguous and incestuously gratuitous content in Game of Thrones blithely passes me by. View all posts by Jmb

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