Matt Kelly doesn’t like the term ‘users’. In a speech to the World Newspaper Congress keynote in Hyderabad he bemoaned the sterility of the word:
“What a word! “Users.” Not readers, or viewers. Certainly not customers – not unless we are being deeply ironic. For the fact is the word “user” is, for the vast majority of people consuming our products online, entirely accurate.
“We’d never choose such a sterile word to describe the people who buy our newspapers. But online, “users” is about right. They find our content in a search engine, they devour it, then they move back to Google, or wherever, and go looking for more. Often, they have no idea which website it was they found the content on. This was the audience we’ve been chasing all that time. A swarm of locusts.”
He’s not alone. Many others have expressed – if not in such forthright terms, and often on very different bases – similar objections to the term.
But I like it. Continue reading