Tag Archives: Times Online

FleetStreetBlues: Roger Boyes on reputation management after unfortunate byline

It certainly caused a snigger or two in the Journalism.co.uk office when, more than a year ago, we came across the unfortunate byline placement on this story in the Times, which happened to be about the Vienna Boys’ Choir sex abuse scandal – a story written by Roger Boyes, Berlin correspondent for the newspaper.

Since then, as reported by FleetStreetBlues, Boyes has had to bring in reputation management to clean up the damage caused to his online profile. In an article for the Times today, as FSB reports, Boyes writes about about how he had to perform “a kind of digital exorcism”, whether he liked it or not.

Here’s the hitch though: I never wanted to join Facebook. Now I am signed on (and have no access to it), accumulating friends who presumably have been put up to it by the reputation managers. It’s not me, it doesn’t feel like me. And the YouTube video, though duly positive, just looks daft. So it seems that the only way I can fight the lasting effects of my Twitter ambush is by exposing myself more online.

First peek at traffic stats for Times’ new site

New figures released by intelligence service Hitwise show that traffic to the Times’ new site, thetimes.co.uk, has halved in the last week, following the closure of timesonline.co.uk.

The drop also ties in with the introduction of user registration in preparation for the paywall.

On Wednesday, the title’s market share of UK internet visits was down to 1.81 per cent, less than half its average during May.

The average session time has also fallen from five and a half minutes, to three, which Hitwise research director Robin Goad says is better than first thought.

That figure is actually higher than many people would have expected, given that a lots of visitors will be spending very little time there if they are choosing not to register.

Over the last month, the title’s market share has also dropped to 2.67 per cent in the week ending 19 June, compared to 4.37 per cent during the week ending 22 May.

The Times’ new registration site, MyTimes+ was the top visited site after thetimes.co.uk.

It’s a chance to see first traffic statistics for the soon-to-be paywalled site, which were not released with other UK national newspaper website figures in the ABCe audit for May.

Goad concludes:

It’s still early days, but the conclusion so far seems to be this: since it forced users to register in order to view its content, the Times has lost market share. However, this decline has clearly not been catastrophic and none of the paper’s rivals has particularly benefitted. Yet. The real test will come when people actually have to pay rather than simply register to view the Times’ content.

See the figures in full here…

Times Online: Reporter ejected from BNP meeting

The Times reports in its leader how one of its reporters, Dominic Kennedy, was expelled from a BNP meeting yesterday. The newspaper also claims that the reporter was assaulted.

Mr  Kennedy was not attending the meeting covertly. He had expressly been invited to report on it by Simon Darby, the party’s national press officer. On pointing this out, Mr Kennedy was physically ejected.

Full story at this link…

Kennedy’s account at this link…

Also see: BBC News video.

NMA: Times pay wall from next spring?

NMA has more details on News International’s pay wall plans – Times Online is reportedly set to introduce the system in Q1 next year, while dates for The Sun and News of the World are undecided.

The Times website will also have a redesign next year as part of the changes.

“A source close to News International said because users will be charged to access the title, the site won’t focus on generating page impressions. It will be overhauled with a focus on a rich user experience, with content easier to find, and building greater user interaction. It’s also planning to run more live debates across the site, such as a recent discussion about the BNP,” writes NMA.

Full post at this link…

Paying for podcasts? A Times Online poll

Interesting poll currently running (well, at 2:54pm on July 24 at least) on Times Online asking if and how much listeners would be willing to pay to listen to its podcast The Bugle.
Times Online podcast payment poll

Of course this means nothing more than the podcast’s producer’s curiosity over whether its audience would be willing to pay. So far, 41 per cent of respondents have suggested they would pay something; though 59 per cent say they wouldn’t cough up at all.

It’s also quite refreshing to see a newspaper site ask its users outright – whether this means there are any plans to charge or not.

According to a Bloomberg report today, Jonathan Miller, chief digital officer with News Corp, whose News International arm owns the Times, has suggested the group could start charging for news and entertainment online.

Back in June, MediaGuardian reports suggested the Times’ sister title, the Sunday Times, was considering setting up a paid-for standalone webiste.

Comment Central: New commenting system for Times Online

The Times has introduced a new commenting system for its website lifting the upper word limit for comments from 300 to 2,000 and introducing a registration system.

“This will enable us to highlight and reward our best commenters, and weed out our least constructive,” writes online editor, Tom Whitwell – though no fixed reward system is mentioned, as yet.

Commenting systems differ between the paper’s blogs and the rest of its editorial content, but there are plans to switch the blogs over to the new platform.

Full post at this link…

Times Online inauguration live blog attracts 35,000

Among the inauguration day records for media sites, nice to hear of success for Times Online’s own interactive coverage – a liveblog using CoveritLive.

Run for eight-and-a-half hours and hosted on the Times’ Comment Central blog, the liveblog attracted 35,000 visitors and 50 comments a minute at its peak, according to a tweet from Tom Whitwell, assistant editor of Times Online.