Browse > Home /

Mail Online publisher: ‘If you don’t listen to your users then you’re dead’

January 24th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Appearing before the joint committee on privacy and injunctions yesterday, Martin Clarke, the publisher of Daily Mail website Mail Online, shared some interesting comments on digital media, in reference to privacy, regulation and general approaches to journalism in a digital world.

The latest results from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (published in December) showed the Mail Online continued its lead ahead of other audited UK news sites with almost 85 million unique browsers in November.

So here is a collection of thoughts shared by Clarke before the committee on issues relating to the impact of the internet on the news industry:

Privacy:

If we were publishing really unpleasant, intrusive stuff our readers wouldn’t like it. One of the beauties of the internet is the feedback you get from your readers is pretty much instant in two ways.

First of all, you can see in real time who’s reading what stories on your homepage … that immediately tells me which ones they’re interested in.

Secondly, we have the comments facility and readers aren’t slow to let us know when they think we’ve been unfair or unpleasant. Quite often I’ve changed tack on a story, or the headline on a story or dropped a picture because of things readers have left in comments. That’s the beauty of the internet, the interaction between you and your readers is that much more immediate. If there were no privacy law no I don’t think it would make that much difference.

Regulation

You are dealing with an industry that faces big commercial challenges going forward. Digital is how newspapers are going to have to make their living, the economics of the internet are such you probably have to make big chunk of that living abroad. Any further regulation might compromise that, and then quite frankly we won’t really have an industry left to regulate.

… You think of the internet in chunks, press, bloggers, tweeters, but from the consumers point of view that’s not how they consider it. It’s an endless continuous spectrum that starts with what their friends are saying on their Facebook pages, what some tweeter might be saying, to a story they link to in a tweet, then go back on to Facebook page and comment … Pretty soon all those commenting systems are going to be bolted together. Where do you draw the line, where do you say right this bit of the internet is going to be regulated and this bit isn’t?

… We’ve had to wake up and deal, embrace a new reality … The internet is a great way to distribute news, it means newspapers are now back in the business of breaking news … alongside TV and radio and the people who had taken that privilege away from us. It’s gratifying as a journalist to be part of that. Equally it’s brought some negatives …. You can’t turn back the tide, we can’t say stop the internet world we want to get off.

On content:

The reason it’s different from the Daily Mail is because it’s a different market … I’m operating in a digital market where we do get feedback from the readers, I can see in real time what they’re really reading rather than what I might think as journalist they should be reading. In the digital world if you don’t listen to your users, if you don’t involve them, if you don’t listen to their tastes, than you’re dead. We don’t follow that data slavishly, that’s where I come in, it’s my job to mediate the light and the shade. So that’s why it’s different from the Mail.

Equally we do more showbiz…we do vastly more science, we do more political commentary, we do more foreign news because we’re not limited by physical space … It goes back to the point I made right at the beginning, if you’re going for scale you can’t just fit in a niche. You can’t say “we’ll be in the red-top end, or the middle-market or the broadsheet end”. Niches aren’t big enough on the internet to survive, so you have to be a much broader church.

You can watch the session in full on Parliament TV and hear from others who appeared before the committee, including Edward Roussel, digital editor of the Telegraph Media Group and Phillip Webster, editor of Times Online.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Top 10 Twitter news stories of 2011

December 8th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

After taking a look at the top 10 Facebook news stories of 2011 yesterday, today we are publishing a list of the year’s top Twitter stories.

This list is based on data from SEO and social data tool Searchmetrics.

A liveblog makes it in at number two, plus there are photo stories and a news game (see number four).

1. Independent: Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl = 83,529

2. BBC: LIVE: Osama Bin Laden dead = 77,853

3. Mail Online: The big pictures: The moment Japan’s cataclysmic tsunami engulfed a nation =  74,835

4. BBC: The world at seven billion = 73,783

5. BBC: Apple holding more cash than USA = 70,202

6. Guardian: Top 100 women = 48,250

7. BBC: Malawi row over whether new law bans farting = 38,861

8. Mail: Back from the dead: Astonishing pictures show how Japan is recovering just three months after tsunami = 31,750

9. BBC: Spelling mistakes ‘cost millions’ in lost online sales = 28,253

10. BBC: Sacrebleu! = 27,377

Data was gathered using Searchmetrics and downloaded for analysis on 6 December. The news outlets included were: BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Mail Online, the Sun, the Mirror. You can see the downloaded Twitter data here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Top 10 Facebook news stories of 2011

December 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

Facebook last week published a list of the most shared articles on Facebook in 2011. That list included only US publishers – so we decided to create a list of the most shared, liked and commented articles from UK news outlets.

This list is based on data from SEO and social data tool Searchmetrics.

As with the US list, stories range from hard news to quirky (or “cute”, as Facebook describes them). Interestingly, the two top stories are newsgames, where the reader is invited to participate using gaming mechanics. (It’s worth mentioning here that there will be a session on newsgames and gaming mechanics at our news:rewired conference for journalists, for which the agenda is here.) The list also includes online video (another news:rewired topic).

The top 10 most shared, commented and liked Facebook news articles of 2011:

1. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 339,149 (shares, comments and likes)

2. Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 219,023

3. Mail Online: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’ = 190,498

4. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo = 167,754

5. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east = 159,023

6. BBC: Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden = 149,509

7. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama = 146,244

8. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg = 146,182

9. Mail Online: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra = 145,413

10. BBC: London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’ = 131,839

 

Top 10 most shared news articles on Facebook in 2011

1. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 147,000

2. Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 65,820

3. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east = 60,238

4. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo = 54,800

5. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg = 44,700

6. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama = 38,891

7. BBC: Speed-of-light results under scrutiny at Cern = 36,700

8. BBC: London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’ = 36,500

9. Mail Online: Meet the blind Great Dane in need of a home (but you’ll need to make space for HER huge guide dog) = 34,600

10. BBC: Amy Winehouse: Tributes paid to dead singer = 31,400

 

Top 10 most ‘liked’ articles on Facebook

1. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 75,619

2. Mail Online: The 9/11 rescue dogs: Portraits of the last surviving animals who scoured Ground Zero one decade on = 62,458

3. BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo = 61,306

4. BBC: Drunk Swedish elk found in apple tree near Gothenburg = 51,618

5. BBC: Osama Bin Laden, al-Qaeda leader, dead – Barack Obama = 49,882

6. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 47,449

7. Mail Online – Beauty in every grain: For the first time remarkable photographs reveal hidden charms of ordinary SAND = 43,760

8. Mail Online: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra = 42799

9. Mail Online: Cheeky monkey! Macaque borrows photographer’s camera to take hilarious self-portraits

10. The Sun: Frankie Cocozza 
kicked off X Factor

 

Top 10 most commented news articles on Facebook in 2011

1. Mail Online: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’ = 127,396

2. BBC: The world at 7 billion = 116,530

3. BBC: Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden = 108,258

4. Guardian: Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 105,754

5. BBC: London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’ = 73,350

6. BBC: Amy Winehouse: Tributes paid to dead singer = 72,313

7. Mail Online: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra = 71,514

8. BBC: Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east = 68,830

9. Independent: US preacher warns end of the world is nigh: 21 May, around 6pm, to be precise = 67,388

10. BBC: Speed-of-light results under scrutiny at Cern = 59,824

Data was gathered using Searchmetrics and downloaded for analysis on 6 December. The news outlets included were: BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Mail Online, the Sun, the Mirror. You can see the downloaded Facebook data here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Media release: StumbleUpon is most important content sharing site for Mail Online

November 8th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

This Mail Online article was the most shared, the Searchmetrics study found

Fifteen times more links to Mail Online articles are shared worldwide via StumbleUpon than on Twitter, according to a study by Searchmetrics.

During the six month period analysed, just over half (50.78 per cent) of links to Mail Online articles were shared on StumbleUpon, with Facebook activity (likes, shares and comments) accounting for 45.87 per cent and links on Twitter just 3.21 per cent.

More than half (56.77 per cent) of the Guardian’s social links came from Facebook, with StumbleUpon accounting for 31.35 per cent and Twitter 10.98 per cent, according to the study.

In a release, Dr Horst Joepen, CEO of Searchmetrics said:

Some people we have shown this data to have been surprised at the volume of links generated for UK newspapers on the StumbleUpon social bookmarking site. This is a very popular site globally and the links could have been generated throughout the world from English speakers who use StumbleUpon.

The most frequently shared content on the Mail Online was said to be an article (with images) about the earthquake in Japan which had been shared 392,521 times on the monitored social sites. The Guardian’s most frequently shared content was reportedly a humorous quiz discussing quotes from Muammar Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen.

The Mail Online’s top three most frequently shared articles:

1. The big pictures: The moment Japan’s cataclysmic tsunami engulfed a nation = 392,521 links

2. Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat after suspected ‘drug overdose’  = 253,561 links

3. Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days… fed only Viagra =

252,650 links

The Guardian’s top three most frequently shared articles:

1. Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? = 363,938 links

2. Detroit in ruins = 210,468 links

3. Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media = 187,987 links

The Mail Online and the Guardian are the most visible UK newspaper websites on social networks such as Facebook, StumbleUpon and Twitter, according to a separate 10-week study by Searchmetrics, which analysed how often content from 12 leading newspaper sites was shared on six popular social networking and bookmarking sites.

Mail Online came out on top, with links to its pages being shared 2,908,779 times a week on average. The Guardian came second with an average 2,587,258 links being shared on social sites every week.

The Searchmetrics study monitored links shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Google+ over a period of 10 weeks.

Average social links per week of UK newspaper websites

Seachmetrics’ CEO Joepen added:

Social news – that is news and articles that are shared or recommended by your friends and followers on social sites – is potentially an important source of traffic for online news sites.

It’s worth noting that search engines, such as Google and Bing are starting to include popularity on social networks as a factor when judging the quality of web pages and how they should be ranked in search listings. So it’s important for news and other web sites to build and monitor visibility on social sites if they want to rank highly and attract visitors via search.

The data for the study was taken from the global social media database which Searchmetrics operates to power its online software tools.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Tabloid Watch: Mail’s correction after misquoting NHS chief

Tabloid Watch has brought to our attention an apology, “buried in the US section” of Mail Online. The site links to two other apologies, also posted in that section.

Statements contained in an article published on 7 March, headed “Babies who are born at 23 weeks should be left to die, says NHS chief”, were wrongly attributed to Dr Daphne Austin, who is a medical consultant specialist employed by the NHS.

They were made in a programme in which Dr Austin participated and were published by us in good faith. In particular, Dr Austin did not state that babies should be “left to die” and did not express the opinion that the financial aspects of neonatal care were the issue. We apologise to Dr Austin for the errors.

The post by Tabloid Watch is at this link

The Mail’s apology is at this link

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

TheMediaBriefing: You may not like it, but Mail Online is a digital innovator

April 6th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards, Online Journalism, Traffic

Daily Mail website Mail Online took home the digital innovation award at last night’s Press Awards, much to the dismay of some. Is it innovative? Or just successful? Does it matter?

Media Briefing editor Patrick Smith stands firmly behind the award, and explains some of the reasons in an interesting post on the Media Briefing blog.

Soap stars on the beach isn’t Pulitzer prize-winning stuff, but the content from the paper is in the middle of the front page and you can click on that if you want too. There is genuine news here: the bank worker fired a Facebook post comparing here £7-an-hour wage to a boss’s £4,000-an-hour, for example, plus lots of middle market news mainstays you would expect such as tax and immigration. Mail execs reportedly claim only a quarter of traffic is driven by “showbiz” stories.

Tags: , , , ,

Similar posts:

paidContent UK: Mail Online on iPad next week

paidContent UK is reporting that the Mail Online is due to launch on the iPad next week. According to the article, Mail Online publisher A&N Media aims to grow digital to represent a quarter of its revenue by 2016 “by adding a range of new subscription options and tilting away from advertising alone”.

A&N won’t get there by wedding itself to paid content, however. “We’ve not adopted any ideological beliefs in terms of paid versus free and remain open,” [A&N CEO Kevin] Beatty said. “Mail Online newspapers’ iPad edition is released next week … with our iPad edition, we’ll be trialling both paid and free models.”

The publisher has previously said the Mail Online website will remain free whilst it pitches its growing audience scale to advertisers.

According to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Mail Online has almost 51 million monthly unique visitors, (February 2011). The latest results represented the site’s first month-on-month fall in traffic for more than a year, after reaching just over 56 million in the slightly longer month of January.

Tags: , , , , ,

Similar posts:

Crains: Mail Online to open New York office

February 9th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Newspapers

Associated Newspapers is to open an office in New York to house journalists for Mail Online.

According to Crain’s New York Business, the news group has signed a four-year lease and will move in next month.

Mail Online receives 65 per cent of its traffic from outside the UK – 35 million unique users in December out of a total of 53.9 million, according to ABCe.

Full report on Crains New York at this link.

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

New Media Age: Mail Online launches paid-for mobile app

November 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick

Mail Online has become the latest UK newspaper site to launch an iPhone app. But the title is offering six-monthly or annual subscription packages, at £4.99 and £8.99 respectively, rather than a 30-day or monthly model.

Mail Online MD James Bromley said the title’s mobile strategy would hinge on developing paid apps as an additional revenue stream.

Full story on New Media Age at this link…

Tags: , , ,

Similar posts:

The Media Blog: Mail falls for fake Steve Jobs tweet

Daily Mail managers might need to invest in some social media lessons for their journalists. If  you haven’t already noted the paper’s impressive Twitter fail, in its research for a misguided article about the iPhone 4, read this.

Mashable also has an account; read it here.

The Daily Mail reported this morning than an iPhone 4 recall is underway, but don’t believe it; the UK publication’s source was a tweet from a fake Steve Jobs Twitter account. Apple hasn’t announced any plans to recall its new phone.

The original story (headline captured by Journalisted here) seems to have disappeared from the Mail’s site.

Tags: , ,

Similar posts:

© Mousetrap Media Ltd. Theme: modified version of Statement