by Mike Masnick

If You Think The NY Times 'Gets' Social Media, Digg This!

from the they-did-what-now? dept

All day Monday, I tried to figure out why the New York Times adding links to Digg, Newsvine and Facebook was a newsworthy story covered by lots of folks as an indication that the Times somehow "gets" new media. These are the same types of links that plenty of publications have been including for quite some time, including many of the NYT's competitors -- and for no one else was it considered newsworthy. As some others have noted, if the NY Times is so intent on "joining the conversation" why doesn't it allow comments? In fact, others have noticed that plenty of mainstream news sites including the Washington Post, CBS and Newsweek all allow comments on their stories. If so, why isn't that a "big news story" like the NYT including a link to Digg? For all the talk of how big a step this is, all it really shows is (a) how far behind the NYT is from plenty of other publications and (b) how it seems to think it's a newsworthy fact that it's barely (but not really) caught up to its competitors. There are also those who say that this has a lot less to do with "getting" social media and a lot more to do with trying to drive more traffic to the NY Times websites. If that's really the plan, it's pretty likely to fail. It's not clear why they'd choose sites like Facebook and Newsvine, which aren't known for being big traffic drivers, rather than more popular sites. And, while Digg does drive a bit of traffic if your stories get to the front page, it seems unlikely that a NY Times story is any more likely to get on Digg due to these links. Our own experiments with a "Digg this" link has shown no impact. We get on the front page of Digg just as often as before we had the links. In the meantime, if the NY Times wants either more traffic or to be a part of the online conversation, we'd suggest that beyond just adding comment abilities, it recognize that both people and companies want a way to respond to articles in the NYTimes -- and that they'd probably get a lot more traffic if they actually made its best content to non-subscribers.

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  • identicon
    Steve, 12 Dec 2006 @ 8:32am

    OMG, Upper Morningside!

    So the "Grey Lady" is directing its elderly, literate but largely technophobic audience to a tech site populated by 14-year old AJAX script-kiddies.


    Is this a service for pederasts?

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

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 12 Dec 2006 @ 8:39am

    Silly people

    In order for the NYT to actually "get it" as its put in the article they would have to admit that maybe, just maybe, they can't keep their content locked down and still expect to be a leading force in the future of journalism.

    This has "me too" written all over it.

    Or this is a sign that they are at least trying? A few months from now the NYT site could have a section for comments and perhaps move on to a thriving forum.

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

  • identicon
    Lucas, 12 Dec 2006 @ 8:59am

    I don't use Digg, but...

    I've never been a big user of Digg or any other similar sites -- not because I think they're not any good, but simply because I've just never really bothered with them.

    On a related note, I just installed the Sociable plugin for Wordpress on my site. Because even though I'm not really a user of sites like Digg, I know some people like them and use them. The Sociable plugin's pretty cool, and easy to use/install. If you want to check it out, download it from this guy.

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

  • identicon
    newspaper guy, 12 Dec 2006 @ 9:51am


    One big reason that newspapers have been slow to adapt to new social media ideas (such as comments) is their use of static pages for content. when you aren't using dynamic delivery, it's a bit harder to add comments.

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

  • identicon
    FIsh, 12 Dec 2006 @ 8:46pm

    Congratulations! You're on the front page of Digg.

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

  • identicon
    Josh, 12 Dec 2006 @ 9:04pm

    I love Digg however...

    Digg and NYT differ so vastly in content, I don't see how providing spammy little icons everywhere serves any purpose, nor do I see why anyone there would want to provide a comment section when it will no doubt be filled with idiotic banter that detracts from the article at hand, and the general integrity of the site.

    Even if they don't 'get' it, I am certainly thankful they don't.

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

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