Archive for February, 2010

How to love your web staff

February 25, 2010

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the latest CSME mixer at Bar Italia, with speakers from Homemakers, Today’s Parent and The Hockey News. One of the best takeaways was from Jackie Kovacs, deputy editor of Today’s Parent. And it was a simple one: “Love your webbies”.

Kovacs’ analogy? “Your website is like your Quebec. It’s part of the family, but distinct.” A fun analogy, and an apt one.

She also made clear that part of the reason for Today’s Parent’s continued success online is the constant interaction between the web and print teams. They work together, they have fun together and, most importantly, they sit together in their office space. Kovacs emphasized that this makes possible the informal interactions that translate into better understanding and sharing across platforms. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Scott Stratten on social media trends

February 22, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a Social Media Week talk by Scott Stratten, better known by his Twitter handle @unmarketing, on social media trends for 2010, including a focus on location-based social media. It was a great talk – worth watching even if just to see a great presenter at work – and I appreciated Stratten’s blend of pragmatism and idealism when it comes to social media. (For those of you curious about what Foursquare is all about, he’ll explain that, too.)

Happily, the team at Refresh Events recorded the session so more people could benefit from it. Check it out on their site and share it with colleagues who share an interest in social media.

Advertising vs. e-commerce

February 16, 2010

Just read an interesting article from the Guardian on’s shift in focus from maximum traffic to what it terms the “three Cs: content, commerce and clubs”. The idea, according to digital editor Edward Roussel, is to broaden revenue streams away from a focus on advertising:

In his view journalism must become more entrepreneurial… “In the UK, display advertising on the web is a £1bn business, and it is stagnating. E-commerce on the other hand is a £50bn business, and it is vibrant. That is one of the challenges,” he said.

How to get readers to share your content

February 10, 2010

There’s a great article up on with an analysis of the most-emailed content on the site – i.e., what kinds of articles are readers most likely to share? The conclusion: awe-inspiring articles that cause an emotional response are the most popular, which explains why those from the science section perform exceptionally well on the most-emailed list, says University of Pennsylvania researcher Jonah Berger:

“Emotion in general leads to transmission, and awe is quite a strong emotion,” he said. “If I’ve just read this story that changes the way I understand the world and myself, I want to talk to others about what it means. I want to proselytize and share the feeling of awe. If you read the article and feel the same emotion, it will bring us closer together.”

How to build viral traffic

February 2, 2010

Want an example of the kind of story that spreads like wildfire over Twitter? This *ahem* attractive slideshow of Canadian Olympians from is a good one.

Magazine issue previews on video

February 1, 2010

Just wanted to point out what seems to be a growing trend: video previews of new magazine issues, like Fashion has done for its March issue.

And the Walrus has done them as well, although I can’t seem to find a link.

I’m curious how much influence these have, but they seem to me not a bad way to advertise. And I can see running short versions as part of a contra deal or an advertising campaign to push newsstand sales. Thoughts?