Contributing member of a community
There’s an interesting trend happening in media these days. More and more publishers, especially in the magazine sector, are recognizing the power of an engaged community, and are diversifying their businesses to include events, exclusive offers, blogging networks, travels clubs and more.
That’s all great. But if social media has taught us anything, it’s that people also want to connect with each other online around news and common interests.
Sadly instead of capitalizing on this massive opportunity to grow engagement with readers who want to connect with journalists, editors and other readers, more and more myopic media execs are disengaging from readers, forcing them to take their comments (and the ad dollars they generate) elsewhere.
Roy Greenslade, a professor of journalism at City University in London and writer for The Guardian questions this disturbing trend, “If the debates stimulated by newspapers are taken off-site, then the paper’s online numbers fall and, by extension, its advertising or sponsorship potential falls too.”
Mathew Ingram a respected writer on the evolution of media and the social web has become a voice for the social masses saying that pushing users away to social media to comment is like throwing a “potentially very valuable baby out with the bathwater”. He also has an even more interesting theory, other than the typical trolling excuse, on why publishers are muzzling their readers…
“For me at least, too much of the complaining about comment sections and the decision to do away with them seems to be driven not by the bad behaviour in them, but by a lack of interest on the part of some journalists and media outlets in engaging with readers at all — and the hope that if there are no comments, maybe there won’t be any way to see the mistakes or call them to account.”
Publishers, wake up! It’s not a one-way conversation anymore. Your websites and apps need to become open, personalized playing fields where MY opinions matter.