Traditional newspapers battle online competiton

Traditional newspapers are finally having to react to the popularity of online competitors. This has been inevitable for some time now, but newspapers have typically been slow to react and never certain about why or what they should be doing in order to counter the online socail news phenomenon. Not only is there an article on BBC online which covers how traditional newspaper budgets are shrinking as web savvy readership moves online and away from buying a paper, but there’s also an article on Techcrunch, reporting on how The New York Times online is surrendering to social news and enabling users to post stories directly from their site to Digg, Facebook and Newsvine.

Although it was possible to manually add a New York Times story to news sharing sites such as Digg and Newsvine before, the capability to do it directly from the story means that The NY Times is paying attention to where its stories are shared, who reads them, and, more importantly, what they are saying about them. Currently, The NY Times offers limited ability to comment on its stories. Readers’ comments can be brutal, and by dealing directly with the sites that facilitate this, The NY Times exposes itself to far more reader interaction than they have ever had before.

I think this is an excellent move and shows the paper’s web-savviness. Only problem now is the paper’s insistance on a subscription….


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December 2006
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