Friday, October 2, 2015

News Media at a Crossroads

The influence that social media has on the world today is something that can be somewhat attributed to the amount of time that we spend on these social media sites. According to an article on titled “28% of Time Spent Online is Social Networking” it says that the “average user logs 1.72 hours per day on social platforms.” (Bennett, 2015). The article goes into the statistics of how that constitutes to 1.72 hours per day on just social media alone, not accounting time spent on the internet which in 2014 was over six hours per day. That means that over one-fourth of our day is being spent by our eyes glued to either our computer screens or our phones. 
(GlobalWebIndex 2012-2014).

            With the surge of social media in the past decade, many big new corporations as well as local are starting to come to a seemingly bitter crossroads with whether to ride the wave of the social media train or continue to find new ways to generate traffic to their websites without selling out. A 2015 article by Matthew Ingram on gigaom titled “Nick Denton says the traffic game is over, and Buzzfeed has won” discusses how Gawker founder, Nick Denton plans to shift Gawker’s focus from the amount of traffic a story to the likes of the views of their news-editor-in-chief Tommy Craggs. (Ingram, Jan. 2015).  Many people know Gawker for their controversial headlines and the traffic from those types of stories has been a large part of the success of Gawker. Buzzfeed, which is an internet news media site prides itself on being able to cater to a broad audience with its colorful user-interface and daily content. While both Gawker and Buzzfeed generate traffic through people visiting their site via online browsers, Buzzfeed is more actively viewed through shared links on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. 

 (Courtesy of, 2012). 
An article by Business Insider editor Alyson Shontell titled “The Story of How Jonah Peretti Built The Web’s Most Beloved New Media Brand” says that Buzzfeed’s founder Jonah Peretti rather prefer readers of the site to “tweet out an article than actually click on it.” (Shontell, 2012). He also says in the article that “People are what spreads the media, and that’s a stronger and better signal than a media company could [build alone].” (Shontell, 2012). I feel that this is a huge part of Buzzfeed’s success because I think of how often I go to a .com site in my browser to read news versus me scrolling on my timeline and clicking on the links in a tweet or on Facebook to keep up with the news. In regards to Gawker deciding to change its attitude of how it views the traffic of a story to a more “newsworthy” approach I think that it may have some effect what content Gawker will produce in the future, but I don’t think that their audience will drop anytime soon due to it being such a huge force news media.

No comments:

Post a Comment