Alex Watson: Who is your master?

At last someone brought the question up. Who are journalists writing for today: readers or Google?

Our Thursday guest speaker, Alex Watson from Dennis Publishing, addressed some of the issues of media business during his lecture at the University of Westminster.

Nota bene, editors

So, Alex was talking about the fact that journalists today (as always) like being read. However, unlike ever before, in the 21st century they can increase their readership not only by producing outstanding content, but also by understanding SEO (=how Google works).

For example. Search engines like websites with frequent updates. They also like keywords. Thus news websites try to produce as many news pieces a day as possible, and make sure the headline and intro and subheads are stuffed with keywords.

As a result, they do get better “stats and hits”. Which is “very seductive”, Alex said.

We can argue here whether going for quantity instead of quality is good or bad (bad, of course!), but we have to admit that it works perfectly well for many companies.

Hence the first question a publisher should ask himself is: “What is our business model and our digital strategy?”.

I think today many editors forget to ask themselves that question. As a result, they think they are writing for readers, but end up fighting for Google ratings…

A great business idea

“The Week”. I think it’s brilliant, seriously.

And their slogan was written by a genius: “All you need to know about everything that matters”. Think about it: they sell the pleasure of not having to look through tons of webpages and deciding what’s important!

Oh, the luxury of having all “the best of the British and foreign media” (another tagline) delivered to your door on a Saturday morning, sorted and neatly packed!

No wonder their circulation is going up.


One response to this post.

  1. Это я не читала, ибо мне лень переводить.


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