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Tips from Poynter, day two

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

Four neat things I learned today:

1) The Roanoke Times has a kick-ass javascript bug above every story, popping up options to email the story or post it to various aggregators. Geek cred for including ma.gnolia.com. Just one problem: to the reader, del.icio.us and ma.gnolia aren’t “sharing” services. They’re storing services. Sharing is how we dream of using them, but that isn’t their primary value to readers.

2) Online purchasing correlates to wealth and broadband; not so much to age.

3) Guidelines for user-content submissions should be written aspirationally: “we will do our best to.” Laying this out may actually help us in libel cases, since their very existence helps verify our regard for the truth, etc.

4) Soundslides is apparently everybody’s favorite $40 slideshow editing app. Two problems: it outputs in Flash and only runs on Macs.

Poynter, day two: pageviews per daily unique user

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

These come from the March and April traffic reports of most of my fellow attendees. The biggest site is washingtonpost.com; the smallest, newhampshire.com.

Oregon Public Broadcasting: 9.2
Chicago Tribune: 6.9
The Press (Canterbury, New Zealand): 5.2
Stuff.co.nz (The Press’s parent brand): 8.5
Tampa Bay Online: 1.1
Orange County Register: 5
San Diego Union Tribune: 10.8
Roanoke Times: 3
Arizona Republic: 1.1
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 5.8
Boston Globe: 9.3
NewHampshire.com (Manchester Union Leader): 10
Winston-Salem Journal: 6.8
NewRiverValley.com (Roanoke Times): 48.6 (!!!)
South Bend Tribune: 2.9
Providence Journal: 12.9
WATE-TV (Knoxville, Tenn.): 3.3
Washington Post: 5.7
Rockford Register-Star: 18.3 (!)

I’m reluctant to post raw numbers because a) they might be confidential, and b) I’m sleepy. Two takeaways, though: small markets like the New River Valley, Manchester, Rockford tend to the high side (read: exclusive content, dedicated users, low ratio of drive-by traffic), as do respected, expensive operations like the ProJo’s, WaPo’s, and Boston.com.

Finally, let’s all remember: excepting Rockford and the New River Valley, these figures are dwarfed — dwarfed by the “clickthrough” rate of practically any reader of our print editions.

Online publication won’t support our newsgathering until it can hold eyeballs for more than four minutes.