Society of Editors conference 2010: Notes from Winning Online and In Print session, Presentation and Q&A with Martin Clarke, Publisher, MailOnline

Notes from Winning Online and In Print session at Society of Editors conference 2010
Presentation and Q&A with Martin Clarke, Publisher, MailOnline.
MailOnline 10% of traffic via Facebook; it is second biggest referrer to the site after Google.
Re sending links via Facebook: “The costs of serving page to someone who doesn’t come back is marginal but if she gets six links in a week she will probably become one of our online readers. I don’t know why the web go for monthly users – it means nothing compared to daily users. We are reaching millions more than we used to and reading content from a paper they don’t normally buy is not going go make them less likely to buy it.

“Many are male readers the mail would not have reached without a free website. Newspapers with the healthiest websites have the healthiest circulation in print according to Jim Chisholm’s research.”
He quoted stats from Comscore regarding visits, time on site, pages per person, sessions per person in the Daily Mail v the Times for September – showed massively greater response from Mail users who access the site for free.
“Mobile will be a revolution that dwarfs what has happened on the web. But before we get carried away with the iPad we should remember html5 brings all the glossiness of app. There is a good chance that in a few years time the apps we love will have become redundant, but they may have helped people understand that while the tethered wry on their desk is free the mobile wry on their tablets is not.”
On the future of print “There will still be a DM pin print when I collect my pension. I am 46.”
“Papers have permanence and prestige” – eg. The Daily Beast merging with Newsweek.
“We won’t win any design awards bug we designed the site around the content. We get 12,000 or more comments a day.” Web traffic includes a regular visitor from Nth KOrea. Is KIm Jong Il a LAdy GaGa fan?
Comments moderation: “we have a hybrid system wife as many as where are comfortable with are unmoderated. Other stories that are contentious we moderate from the get-go.”8
Wouldn’t discuss the Baskers question.

If you try to integrate journalists too much you end up with a crap website and a crap newspaper. Better to have people getting out of bed thinking ‘how do I do the best for the web/newspaper’.
What works for us won’t work for everyone. What you can’t do is ignore it. Find a way to make it work because it won’t go away. Should newspapers link to competitors websites on stories? “we link out on some stories and we will do more in future I think as the web matures. If you don’t link they will find it themselves anyway. Sent from my iPad

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