the numbers game elements for your site’s success IMG SRC: Flickr
1 know your users And then deliver targeted, relevant and personalised content and advertising to users. Relevant advertising and content is paramount. Irrelevant advertising and content is a waste of space. Display online advertising currently a crude traditional media import.
2 multiple platforms You need a mobile guru or department: 3.3 billion mobile users (SA>30m). Mobile is key. Mobile devices are outstripping desktop internet access. This is a key platform of the future for web access, and it will be a truly mass medium for rich & poor unlike traditional desktop web browsing.
3 social network layers Connect users to each other, not just about publisher connecting to users. Creates more inventory for advertising, richer user experience and builder of community.
4 aggregate Why let Google have all the fun? See yourself as an aggregator not just publisher. Aggregate blogs, aggregate competitors, aggregate readers’ content. Create aggregation brands. But don’t abandon editing principles. Allow users to add feeds of competitive news organisations or blogs.
5 multiple formats Embrace multiple formats: not just text. Must be same quality as text production. Outsource and partner with professional production companies as a start. Create some buzz by hiring a broadcast anchor to do it. No specialist media one-format companies in the future.
6 embrace community Embrace your community: Get your readers to write, copy taste and gather news for you. Incentivise them by paying, ad share or promoting their sites or blogs. Why do all homepages not have a Digg like alternative homepage? Elevate readers from comments areas, open up columnists sections to your readers.
7 multiple brands Don’t be afraid to create multiple online brands, don’t cling to your “mother brand”. It’s easy and cheap to do online. The web is a fragmented place. Different brands appeal to different markets, age groups, interests. Your main brand won’t be “diluted”.
8 niche your content Focus on ways of creating niche content areas. Thanks to the web of abundant choice and fragmentation, there is the longtail for every piece of obscure topic & content. Your users can help you do this.
9 tag it Bloggers do it better than media. Tag your content and create indexes. Add semantic layers so that you can generate automatic feeds (eg: related articles) & unlock content in your archive. Tags add richness and a whole lot of SEO goodness to your site.
1 go open source Develop quicker, smarter & cheaper. Develop rapidly on the fly. Your users will test and help you build your site. Use pre-existing open source CMSes, or don’t be afraid to develop your own. Nimble dev outfits aren’t afraid to innovate and push boundaries, because if production low cost, then mistakes not costly. 0