Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grifting for readers

You know you’re cool when you gain Twitter followers without lifting a finger. Either that or people are optimistic you’ll get off your duff and write something.

Twitter limits messages to 140 characters, and I’m amused and slightly pissed off to find online newspapers gaining followers without writing anything. Now that’s talent.

The Sing Tao Daily has 14 followers — some of them real people — and has never submitted a single entry. The Simcoe Reformer in Ontario has 31 followers and no tweets. Some news sites make it look easy.

The Telegram in St. John’s, NL, bribed people with the chance to win an iPod Touch if they signed up to the paper’s Twitter or Facebook accounts. Last I checked they had 567 Twitter followers; 566 of them just wanted the iPod. Just kidding, Telegram. Nice use of swag to bring in readers.

I’m not above sweetening the deal to encourage people to visit our online site or social media accounts. Trouble is in my newsroom we need to find a way to convince people to stay.

The Hyper Journalist


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