Seattle P-I's Online Traffic Drops... But Just A Bit

from the not-too-shabby dept

A former Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter, now writing for Paid Content, seems to take some glee in reporting that traffic to the Seattle P-I's website is off 20% since the decision to lay off most of the staff and go web only. But, actually, it seems like a pretty good result. Editorial staff was cut by 80% down to just 20 people. Support staff is basically gone entirely. And then all the printing and delivery expenses are gone as well. To basically cut all that expense and still retain 80% of the traffic? That seems phenomenal. If anything, it validates the decision.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    RD, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Nope

    No, sorry, this is an april fools story. You see, according to Weird Harold and his Army of the Apoligitards (tm), you CAN NOT BE SUCCESSFUL OR MAKE MONEY WITH FREE. CANT. Impossible. That 80% that they can now sell ads to or whatever? Sorry, its a lie, not possible. The site is FREE therefore it is an auto-fail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    teknosapien, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Somethings got to give

    this seems to be the natural progression of things
    and it also makes sense. the advent of web presence and circulation being on a downward spiral.
    It appears to be a win win good for the environment less overhead -- face it if they continue the progression writers will work from home and you could outsource your IT tasks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:32pm

    I don't think the true answer comes in the first few weeks. The real answer comes in what they retain through the summer and into the fall. A 20% drop in a month is significant but not overwhelming, the question will be what it looks like after a few months.

    Good on them if they can keep it up, and keep enough ad dollars flowing to keep the remaining staff employed.

    @RD: The site isn't free - it's ad supported. Get a life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    Actually another question on something I just noticed - they were a third level site on nwsource.com before, now they are stand along with a redirect away from the third level to seattlepi.com - is that new, or something that happened before?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    RD, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:53pm

    Right.....

    "I don't think the true answer comes in the first few weeks. The real answer comes in what they retain through the summer and into the fall. A 20% drop in a month is significant but not overwhelming, the question will be what it looks like after a few months."

    Right....and then in a few months, you'll say "yeah but, lets see it next year" and then "yeah but, try to sustain that over years" and then "yeah but lets see anyone else do it" and then "yeah but..." forever. If the people who start and run business thought like you and constantly threw up "yeah but" to EVERY SINGLE suggestion of how to do things, there wouldnt be any businesses. So, you are right, in a sense, it DOES matter but you are again DEAD WRONG in thinking it ONLY applies to new business models like this. It applies to ANY BUSINESS ANYONE ENTERS INTO ALL THROUGHOUT THE LIFE OF THE BUSINESS. You dont just set the stuff at the start and go 100 years without ANY adjustments. Businesses CONSTANTLY have to change and adapt or they go out of business. You seem to think if something isnt 100% proven from the get-go AND will remain that way FOREVER, its not viable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Right.....

    Why are you so angry?

    Seattle PI right now as a website exists and is well known because for many, many years there was a newspaper, and all that goes with it - if you want to look at it that way, they have brand. But that brand lost it's key piece of public space visiblity, the printed newspaper. They have a good website, it has plenty of traffic (they rank well), and they have lost 20% of their traffic in the first month since the buggy whip business was closed.

    Clearly, it's too early to tell the effects.

    To basically cut all that expense and still retain 80% of the traffic? That seems phenomenal. If anything, it validates the decision.

    That is Mike's quote - and he seems to be declaring a winner at this point. I don't agree yet, because we haven't seen all sides - yes, they drop 160 staff and all the expense of pulishing and distributing, but they also tossed away all those ad pages, all that income, etc. So the questions still are out there: Will the people come to the website in the long run without the paper to push it (so far down 20%... so the jury is out), did they cut the staff enough to make the website a profitable business, while still maintaining enough to actually make the website viable and attractive enough to the users?

    It's nothing to get angry about. It is just business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Re: Right.....

    Here in Orlando I have two choices for local news (other than TV, which long ago ceased to be news and became little more that entertainment and an incredibly large amount of broadcast time spent on weather): either the Orlando Sentinel print edition or the Orlando Sentinel online edition.

    Based upon my having used both for some time now (over a year), I am more convinced than ever that a print edition, its costs notwithstanding, is far superior when it comes to news reporting than the online edition (even with its forums, blogs, etc.).

    If my experience reflects the "digital future", I will gladly opt for buggy whips, which do not require electricity/battery power and which I can easily spread out on my dining room table and peruse while I have my morning cup of coffee. Moreover, it is a bit hard to "clip coupons" from a display without a printer readily at hand.

    Maybe the "old business model" is consigned by some to the trash heap of business in the digital age, but I am not one of the "some".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 3:47am

    Re: Re: Right.....

    It's nothing to get angry about. It is just business.
    If anyone on this site is angry, it's you.

    It's just business, you say? Then how in the hell can you sit there and criticize every last thing posted on Techdirt regarding new ideas, changes in the industry, and worse, support models showing to be dying based on consumer change.

    "I'm not taking anything as fact until time passes." You sound like every damn executive who is in charge of a "can't let them fail" business only to find out, after time passes, what an incredible stupid decision you just made for doing nothing but ignoring the change.

    I've mentioned many times you are ignorant, and this quote of yours defends this.

    Harold, you're not a business. You're not in a business. You can say all you want to the contrary, but there's no way you can be. You're too stagnant, ignorant, and arrogant to believe in change, especially if revenue changes.

    I believe you mentioned you work for yourself. Let's hope so, because anyone employed in your "business" wouldn't be an employee long.

    You should be the one who takes a break. All that negativity is going to pop a blood vessel. There's a big difference between ranting and being negative.

    Learn it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Right.....

    Miles, all I can learn from you is how to be an angry community college student. I don't need to learn that.

    You can get all theoretical if you want, I have made my living solely on working on the net for 15 years now. I change all the time. But there is a difference, I move from revenue stream to revenue steam, not from revenue steam to "nice theoretical idea". Real businesses don't just jump off a cliff to see what is at the bottom unless they are pushed (and Seattle PI was pushed).

    One day when you are no longer studying and actually have to do something in life, then you can comment on other people. Until then, good luck with your studying, I hope you pass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 5:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Right.....

    "One day when you are no longer studying and actually have to do something in life, then you can comment on other people. Until then, good luck with your studying, I hope you pass."

    This is why we think you're an idiot. You keep shrugging people off, saying that they can't possibly know anything unless they have had the same exact experiences as you have. If you open your eyes and look around you will see that people who know a hell of a lot more than you get these "nice theoretical ideas" working all the time.

    But, no, it's impossible that anyone else knows more than you. If someone states a different opinion they must still be in college, high school, never created anything, never done anything. The world must be full of lazy uncreative school students since vary few people do agree with you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    AC's long lost brother, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    Prior to going online only, they had a Joint Operating Agreement with the other major paper so I suspect that as they are no longer in that agreement, they moved to their own domain and hosted servers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    RD, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 8:08am

    Right.....

    Thank you R Miles and Chrono. Once again, you guys state more eloquently and clearly than I do the very problem with WH's viewpoint. Also, consider this:

    "You can get all theoretical if you want, I have made my living solely on working on the net for 15 years now. I change all the time. But there is a difference, I move from revenue stream to revenue steam, not from revenue steam to "nice theoretical idea". Real businesses don't just jump off a cliff to see what is at the bottom unless they are pushed (and Seattle PI was pushed)."

    Yes and being pushed IS WHAT IS HAPPENING. YOU just are in denial about it. The consumer WILL take their business elsewhere and there WILL be change. This whole "jump off a cliff" is bogus because if they DONT look at new ideas, they are toast when this change happens. YOU are in denial that it ever will happen, or that they have ANY NEED to explore ANY of these new ways of doing things. THAT is why people are "angry" (or whatever) at you. EVERYONE in the world understands this except YOU and your industry pals. Well, thats just too bad, you and them will be ground under like the buggy whip makers. You wont be missed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    magnafides, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Right.....

    It sure doesn't look he's "declaring a winner" to me. The entire post is intended to refute a specific interpretation of the effect of Seattle PI's downsizing.

    Also, in response to one of your earlier comments, even if it is ad-supported it is effectively free to the consumers. Everyone knows that "there is no such thing as a free lunch"--I find your attempt at deflection quite disingenuous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 2nd, 2009 @ 9:13pm

    Seattle P-I

    "To basically cut all that expense and still retain 80% of the traffic? That seems phenomenal. If anything, it validates the decision."
    How do you get that?
    Without knowing the impact on revenue (which is likely mostly from ads, and normally VERY sensitive to traffic) there is no way of knowing if it is good, bad, or undecided.
    Revenue could be off (at least, eventually) by 90 percent. Would an 80 percent reduction in cost look good then?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Nate, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 5:39pm

    Who clips coupons anymore? I have been going to http://couponsearcher.blogspot.com/ and printing them out. I only print the ones I need. I think that is greener than all those coupons that go to the trash.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This