Sunday, April 5, 2009

Frederick News Post falling behind the digital curve

Newspapers Not Effectively Using Social Media

Need better integration
Newspapers should be using social media more effectively to engage their readers and boost online revenue, according to a new survey by Gartner."In the wake of the economic challenges facing the U.S. newspaper industry, publishers are losing focus on the crucial imperative of how to capitalize on those consumers who remain loyal, engaged online and print readers," said Allen Weiner, research vice president at Gartner.

The survey indicates that newspaper Web sites are failing to optimize for search and a there is a lack of integration between content and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents use general search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) once a week or more to find content, but only 20 percent use search tools built into a newspaper or magazine site.

Only 24 percent of those surveyed share good content with friends or others via email and instant messaging. Just 7 percent say they usually or often share content via embedding into social networks.

- Although many newspapers list their staffers who are on Twitter, an influential microblogging social network, few offer Twitter users the ability to "tweet" stories from their Web sites.

- When asked what they do when they find interesting content online, more than half of respondents (52 percent) said that they usually read it immediately. Only 9 percent said that they bookmark it to read later.

"Although it's easy to criticize the newspaper companies for falling behind the digital curve and not thinking innovatively about their future, some of the industry's current failures fall under the category of looking past the basics," Mr. Weiner said. "One of those basics is turning those who are fans of your product or service into your best and lowest-cost marketing channel. Even simple social media tools not only allow sharing and recommendations, but also provide a level of identity and reputation management to give others a snapshot of a content curator's credentials."

Mr. Weiner said that while the newspapers have incorporated social media content, they just haven't taken the step of integrating social media tools into their content management "ecosystem" to provide pervasive deployment of important social features. The task at hand is now to prioritize the integration of social media into a current or future content management system.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report "Newspaper Publishers Must Do More to Empower Brand Stewards." The report is available on Gartner's Website at

Yes the Frederick News Posts has blogs... but they strip those blogs of any 'meat', perhaps they fear losing control?

It's not just the local newspapers either... Newspapers still want to think of themselves as the alpha dog... and they are not.
The days of the newspaper being top dog are waning

Issue # 57
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