I’m not used to thinking of the Daily Telegraph as especially cool – in fact as long as I can remember I’ve associated it with dyed-in-the wool conservatism. So it’s surprising to see it emerging so strongly in the digital space and giving The Guardian, smugly sure of its pre-eminence in that area, a run for its money.
The Barclay brothers, the paper’s owners, are said to be spending millions on a new digitally equipped open plan office, in a bid to make the tired old format appeal to younger readers. The Guardian is all aflutter.
But these days a lot of the action is online, and the Telegraph has been scoring there with its website Telegraph.co.uk. This got 28 million visitors in March, making it the UK’s most popular newspaper site.
According to the site’s head of audience development Julian Sambles, no less than 8% of its readership – a staggering 75,000 readers a day – now comes from social media sites like Diggit, Delicious, Reddit and Stumbleupon, which enable members to choose and identify stories that they like.
The fact that Sambles chose to impart this interesting piece of information in an interview to blogger Malcolm Coles, itself says something about the company’s understanding of social media.
“What we have done is to enable all of our stories to be submitted to these social sites by adding a ’share this’ button on every article,” Sambles explains. “In each case they can then add their own headline and comments onto the article so enabling their point of view to get across. By continuing to deliver a large volume of good, rich content we have found that our readers enjoy engaging with it.”
Two recent examples he gave from Digg were:
With a vast store of content that is refreshed daily, newspapers are clearly a prime destination for online readers.
But other types of businesses can learn from this too, especially those who are committed enough to keep adding to their sites. Where there is fresh and interesting content, providing a link to sites like Digg has been shown to bring in serious amounts of traffic.
Some other posts you'll find interesting: