Following Malcolm Coles’ piece on how the Guardian, Times and FT are winning on Twitter, Sothisischristmas graphed the results:
Other people have tweeted (or retweeted) the Guardian’s URLs 328,288 times over the last 4 months – way more than any other UK newspaper, according to my full analysis here.
The FT and Times have more followers on Twitter than the Telegraph and Mail – but they’re not tweeted about as often. The Telegraph is in second place: 120,731 tweets by other people (ie excluding the Telegraph’s own accounts) have included a link to one if its URLs. The Daily Mail is 3rd with 95,851.
How many times each newspaper has had a URL tweeted by someone else
- Guardian: 328,288
- Telegraph: 120,731
- Daily Mail: 95,851
- The Sun: 33,580
- Independent: 24,423
- Times Online: 23,329
- Mirror: 13,881
- Express: 2,818
- FT.com: 691
National newspapers have a total of 1,068,898 followers across their 120 official Twitter accounts – with the Guardian, Times and FT the only three papers in the top 10. That’s according to a massive count of newspaper’s twitter accounts I’ve done (there’s a table of all 120 at that link).
The Guardian’s the clear winner, as its place on the Twitter Suggested User List means that its @GuardianTech account has 831,935 followers – 78% of the total …
@GuardianNews is 2nd with 25,992 followers, @TimesFashion is 3rd with 24,762 and @FinancialTimes 4th with 19,923.
- Glorified RSS Out of 120 accounts, just 16 do something other than running as a glorified RSS feed. The other 114 do no retweeting, no replying to other tweets etc (you can see which are which on the full table).
- No following. These newspaper accounts don’t do much following. Leaving GuardianTech out of it, there are 236,963 followers, but they follow just 59,797. They’re mostly pumping RSS feeds straight to Twitter, and see no reason to engage with the community.
- Rapid drop-off There are only 6 Twitter accounts with more than 10,000 followers. I suspect many of these accounts are invisible to most people as the newspapers aren’t engaging much – no RTing of other people’s tweets means those other people don’t have an obvious way to realise the newspaper accounts exist.
- Sun and Mirror are laggards The Sun and Mirror have work to do – they don’t seem to have much talent at this so far and have few accounts with any followers. The Mail only seems to have one account but it is the 20th largest in terms of followers.
The full spreadsheet of data is here (and I’ll keep it up to date with any accounts the papers forgot to mention on their own sites)… It’s based on official Twitter accounts – not individual journalists’. I’ve rounded up some other Twitter statistics if you’re interested.
Some news sites get a last updated time stamp in Google – and some don’t. It’s a bit of information next to the URL that says XX minutes ago and shows when the most recent story was published.
Not all news sites get it – although I can’t see any rhyme or reason (originally posted here).
Sites that do have it
The sites that do have it are: Times, Telegraph, BBC News, Express, ITN, Guardian. (Click the picture for a bigger version).
Most newspaper websites are doing a bad design job in making their stories readable. Too many are using:
- small fonts,
- long off-putting paragraphs,
- no subheadings,
- no in-content boxes or pictures, and
- no in-content links.
To explain more, I’ve written a companion post on online readability (design, not writing – and this post was first published here). And here’s an example each of their news stories so you can see the issue: Daily Mail, Express, FT, Guardian, Independent, Mirror, Sun, Telegraph, Times.
Main readability design mistakes
This table summarises the main ways they are going wrong.
They are all using font sizes that are too small for comfortable reading on copy-heavy pages. Only the Guardian, Independent, Mirror and Telegraph offer obvious controls for resizing text.
But most of the sites use 12 or 13px fonts for body copy. I think this is too small to be the default – 16px is a much more readable size. Only the Guardian comes anywhere near this. Continue reading
All self-respecting newspaper sites have share and social-bookmarking functionality, such as links to Digg, Reddit, Fark etc.
But if the results of StumbleUpon are typical then:
- Times Online is miles ahead of its rivals when it comes to users sharing / bookmarking its pages.
- The FT has a lot of work to do.
- Adding icons for an individual service makes no difference to how often users submit a given page.
On Thursday I’ll be presenting my paper on wiki journalism at the Future of Newspapers conference in Cardiff. As previously reported, the full paper is available as a wiki online for anyone to add to or edit. You can also download a PDF of the ‘official’ version.
Based on a review of a number of case studies, and some literature on wikis, the paper proposes a taxonomy of wiki journalism, and outlines the opportunities and weaknesses of the form. The following is the edited highlights: Continue reading
That seems to be the subtext of Pearson chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino’s statement, as the Guardian reports that FT.com is likely to continue to rely on subscription revenues:
“As debate online has become more diffuse – hundreds of thousands or millions of voices on each topic – it has become less helpful in a way,” she said. “The trend now online seems to be some sort of mediation and we think we might have a role there.”
[…] “she said that the 90,000 subscribers to FT.com represent a “rarified audience” including senior figures in business and politics across the world and “We have found that to some extent with the quality of audience we have got we can provoke the discussion”.”
And to think some people used to dream that the internet would give a voice to those without power…