05 January 2009

Newspapers & The Net’s Five P’s

Journalists should concentrate on delivering four of the five P’s of the Internet, according to a new media chief in the US.

Rob Curley from Greenspun Interactive says effective content on the net can essentially be split into five categories:

Passions – Think travel, sport, shopping etc

Practical – Information such as opening times, maps and so on.

Playful – This is YouTube and similar.

(As Curley puts it: “How many times have you heard someone say, ‘You know, I was on YouTube last night, and I just lost myself. I must have been on that site for two or three hours.’

“Now when was the last time you heard someone say, ‘You know, I was on my local newspaper’s website last night and I just lost myself. I must have been on that site for two or three hours.’”)

Personal communication – Such as social networking, instant messaging and all that jazz.

Porn – No explanation required!

Curley, who is president and executive editor at Greenspun Interactive, continues: “Here’s what is wild: With the exception of porn (and probably personal communication), newspapers should really be able to deliver on these things.”

Writing on his blog, Curley suggests that newspapers should take a look at the non-news things that work in print and try to “embrace those sorts of equivalents with new media”.

So he considers some of the initiatives followed by his newspaper – the Las Vegas Sun – and how they match two of the magic P’s:

Passions – Examples at the Sun include boxing features and entertainment news and gossip from the Strip.

Practical – At the Sun this comprises information features such as restaurant guides and crime data.

Most importantly, Curley writes that these changes have had a very positive impact on the site’s traffic figures with a growth of 300% in the past six months.

And of particular interest is that he includes in his write-up some of the projects that so far haven’t elicited the kind of page views initially expected.

Visit Curley’s blog for the full post.

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