Lots of publishers have been rolling out new media and social media strategies and yet they are failing to do really basic things. There are some VERY simple things that can improve your site immeasurably and help you promote your company and your website. The crazy thing about these are that Big and Small publishers all fail to do them. And they are effectively free!
This one though has been annoying the hell out if me recently. And it’s so easy!
Have A News Page, Make Sure That Page Has An RSS Feed, USE THE NEWS PAGE*
You could set your news page up as a blog and allow commnets, but even if that isn’t for you, it is non-sensical to have a news page without an RSS feed. News that you post to a static news page just sits there waiting for people to come to it. An RSS feed sends it OUT to people in the place they have decided to READ It. That’s a wonderful permission tool. They are LOOKING for your news when they subscribe to your news RSS.
The Mercier Press News Page is a good example of using an RSS feed to a) let people know what’s coming up and b) getting pictures and news out about book launches and pretty much anything else. If they do anything wrong it’s that they don’t TELL people you can subscribe, I’d change that.
My idea of perfection for this is Little Brown’s UK website where they have an RSS Feed for their News & Events page AND they promote it!
That is all!
* For New Pages, read Press Release or Update or whatever you prefer to call it!
When theory becomes reality
One thing the internet does is allow organisations provide almost infinite options for their viewers/readers or listeners. You don’t see it too much in practice though.
That’s why I like RTÉ’s US election coverage (*) right now. They have revamped the site so it looks different from the news page: have look here and they have
More importantly they are pulling in material from around the web, provided by others that adds value for their users. The Political Compass, The NPR Feed, The Electoral College Explained and a really nice Electoral College Map and I’ve just spotted they have an electoral vote counter on the main page too!
By far the best element of the site though is the extra content and access to the correspondents and reporters who are in the US. There is a Charlie Bird blog, a Robert Shortt blog that includes some vlogs and a Mark Little blog. That is exactly what a media organisation should be using the web to do, to centralise their content and to pull in the best of the rest.
(*) Some people I know [and like] work at rté.ie so I might be biased. I don’t think so, but I think it’s worth saying.
Just spotted this on Blathnaid Healy’s Blog
This should be interesting, especially in the context of this piece by Damien Mulley!
Terry Pratchett diagnosed with rare form of Alzheimer’s
Just terrible news. But he seems to be taking it well:
We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I
expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there’s time for at least a few more books yet :o)
Hat-tip to Mediabistro
Seems like a good buy to me
For details read here or here or here.
I have been noticing that Lonely Planet has been extending its brand very subtly recently. For instance moving into non-specific travel books like this one or this one and launching a nice set of pictorial books too. The combination of BBC Worldwide’s broadcast power, the excellent content that Lonely Planet has between its photo archive, author bank and general travel knowledge, will make for an impressive product going forward.
In fact, TheBookseller.com carries the story and has a great quote from BBC Worldwide c.e.o. John Smith:
This deal fits well with our strategy to create one of the world’s leading content businesses, to grow our portfolio of content brands online and to increase our operations in Australia and America.
“The possibilities of the web + great content = compelling argument” argument strikes again. I wonder if all these seemingly great partnerships will deliver what is expected of them. I say this not to relate doubt over BBC/Lonely Planet which is a powerful combination, but more to sound a general note of caution on such deals, they cannot all pay of, and someone is going to buy a compelling argument that does not transfer to the web as expected.
Still, one to watch