Driven by US election stories it has clearly been an impressive month for the UK nationals online. I saw this story from Jemima Kiss of The Guardian fame, on Twitter this afternoon. According to her story all ABC-audited UK publishers saw record web traffic for October.
The Guardian alone, recorded more than 25 million unique users in October marking a 7 per cent increase from September and 41 per cent from last year. Following the trend, number two in the UK market was the Telegraph which secured more than 23 million unique users (an increase of 109 per cent on this time last year).
Other movers and shakers include the Mailonline ‘over taking’ Times online for third place with more than 21 million unique users (I wonder if Mr Brand or Mr Ross were any of them?). The Sun Online, Independent.co.uk, and Mirror Group Digital also saw increases in users from September and year over year.
Other online stories which have caught my eye include one about how The Daily Mirror has also launched a digital achieve of its newspapers from 1903 – 1980 which will be available through an online subscription based service. The new site will include all Mirror titles including the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and Star on Sunday. I wonder how many people will search the archieves of the Star on Sunday?
Finally, the Telegraph has launched a new political show designed specifically for the internet. According to the Press Gazette the weekly show will run about five minutes offering comments and debate on a range of topics. A sign of things to come? Who will be the first to launch their technology show?
Source: BBC News
Since first spotting the news flash up on Twitter at lunch time there has been much debate in the office about John Sargeant quitting Strictly Come Dancing this afternoon following the comments from judges and professional dancers about him still being in the competition. You normally get at least one major winner from shows such as these and they are more often than not the eventual winner. That said without winning participating in this year’s show has been a PR master stroke for the portly ex-political journalist.
A whole new generation of viewers now know who he is and he has managed to leave the dancing show as a winner in many people’s eyes having not been kicked out. My colleague Jo actually believes the whole thing is a PR stunt and that John will be welcomed back onto the dance floor again this Saturday as a contestant.
Me – I don’t think he actually needs to show up on Saturday. He was never going to win but now firmly has the UK public behind him and can probably pick and choose the opportunities thrown his way moving forward. Has he just won himself a talk show instead of a dancing competition?
Source: Google images
Robin Wilson’s blog is fast becoming one of my favourites and he keeps finding some really cool tools. One such tool was a site called Way Back Machine which I have been having some fun with recently. The site allows you to put a website’s URL in and you can then see the history and changes made to a website.
Really interesting to put some of your most recognisable brands in and watch them change over time.
At a time when a number of PR consultancies are looking over their shoulder at the economic climate and recieving payment for work completed is essential, I saw a story on the New York Times today about a service which could be useful. A new online market called the Receivables Exchange has launched in the US. It allows companies to sell their outstanding receivables at a discount to financial institutions.
In essence, it means that companies can sell the money owed to them – or as the paper said an online market for selling I.O.U.’s.
I use Gmail for my personal emails and have just seen that they have announced a few new features which I didn’t know about and thought some of you may be interested in:
• View as slideshow – Open PowerPoint attachments as slideshows, without having to download anything. Learn More
• Get mail from other accounts – Now Google Mail can check for the mail you receive at your other email accounts. Learn more
• Chat’s what we’re talking about – Get in touch with your friends instantly, from right inside Google Mail. Learn more
• Virus scanning is here! Get an automatic check-up every time that you open or send a message with an attachment. Learn more
• Vacation auto-responder – Set an auto-response so that if you are lying on a beach or taking a train across Siberia, your friends will know that you will not be checking your email. Learn more
• Contact groups – Now you can send messages to a group instead of having to pick out the individual addresses every time. Learn more
Be yourself – Now you can customise the ‘From:’ address on your outgoing messages to display another one of your addresses instead. Use any alias or email address that you own, but do all your sending from Google Mail. Learn more
• Take your friends anywhere – export your Google Mail Contacts.
I am personally glad to see the vacation auto-responderand virus scanner……less pleased to see annoying emotions available.
Just seen that the lovely people at Google have published a SEO starter guide that lists some best practices and covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. Google says that it plans to continue updating the guide at regular intervals with new optimization suggestions and to keep the technical advice current.
Might be worth a look, there may be something you hadn’t seen before.
Knowledge is power guys so here are some national online updates. Yes, my wife will be cringing that I wrote that.
The Financial Times this week re-launched its website including a top ten list of must read stories, a list of most read, horizontal navigation for the main sections and drop down menus for sub-sections. I wonder if their Flackenhack award nomination for being great in print and rubbish online was behind this?
As reported by Judith Townsend, Janine Gibson has been announced as the new editor for Guardian.co.uk and is looking to towards coordinating related content in one place. Apparently, the website is also looking at “keywording” in stories, which have “helped bring related content together on the site.”
Dominic Ponsford has announced that The Telegraph will begin experimenting with “post modernation”. This means that Telegraph reporters will post their stories directly on the website without it passing through a sub editor first. Posts can then be updated or edited once they are on the site.
I met freelance journalist and writing trainer Alex Blyth yesterday and while having a quick beer discussed his opinion on keywords in online copy. This was not something Alex was particularly keen on, as he argued that if people came to a story based upon certain keywords they may not read any further than the first few lines upon realising it had nothing to do with what they thought it was. In this scenario you may have increased hits but not readership.
I can understand this as one of the handy features of WordPress is the ability to see what search terms have been used to come to this blog. It still makes me chuckle when I see the amount of poor saps who end up here after typing in Britney Spears naked into Google.
Alex then mentioned a section he had seen in the London Paper recently called ‘the columnist’. The basic idea behind this is that anyone can become a columnist for the paper on just about anything. All you have to do is email 400 words and a photograph of yourself to the paper. The piece is also put online and readers are encouraged to join the debate with the columnist.
This is where it gets interesting. Readers are encouraged to then vote on whether they would like more from this person or whther they thought it was a bore and the results are printed the following day.
I wonder if this is something that might happen more with online publications? Could online editors start asking the people that visit a site whether they think the freelancer who has produced some collateral is a bore or worthy of more work? Sounds ridiculous but with more and more publications scaling their editorial teams down and relying on freelancers doesn’t it make sense to ensure that the people who visit the site actually like the content they are reading? Otherwise they will just go elsewhere?
The obvious danger is that mischief makers out there would vote against someone based more upon their dislike for an individual than the quality of their work. Plus is starts putting journalism into the realm of reality TV which horrifies me. Still, an interesting concept and I wouldn’t be shocked to see similar columns spring up in a few other places.
I was out of the office yesterday afternoon and at 17:35 decided to call in to see if there were any messages for me or anything that I should be aware of. I got no answer. Lazy buggers – they have all gone home I thought to my self and went off to find the journalist I was having a beer with not thinking any further about it.
It wasn’t until this morning that I realised that the whole office were still there, just huddled around the TV in reception. The reason?
Our resident quiz master Emma was appearing on the Weakest Link against the fearsome Anne Robinson. She did well answering some difficult questions and even got a Berkeley PR mention in there, which has pushed her above me on our internal national coverage league. Well done Em, we are proud of you. Click here to see her performance on iPlayer.
P.S. The caricature isn’t of me before any of you comedians get any bright ideas.