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Online to print Convergence – a one way street?

It seems like we anticipate the online media to adapt what the print media is throwing out there. The convergence between print and online is difficult but here is an example which I find very interesting.

What the Mail and Guardian has done is insert a side bar on their second page of their print edition, presenting a list of the top 10 most-read stories on the MG Online from the previous week.

It is interesting to note that the latest edition (November 3 -9) presents a lot of South African content, compared to the previous edition (October 27 – November 2) which presented a lot of international stories.

I’d like to know how precise and representative this list is. Are these the top 10 stories read by local users or international users, and maybe find out what the difference in numbers between local and international readers actually is. How many local and how many international readers are there and does that reflect on what this top ten list presents?

Over and above the question of how this sample is being taken, I do think that this is a great way of starting the online-to-print convergence. Since most convergence is often focussed on print-to-online and not the other way round.

This sidebar firstly promotes the online content, as these stories are not to be found in the latest edition of the paper, and readers will have to go back to the website and find the specific article.

It is also interesting to note what kind of content is read online compared to the frontage stories of the print publication. Here it becomes obvious that the importance of the cover story is not necessarily the same in the online edition. The reason for this I would assume I that the front page of the newspaper is chosen by the editorial team, where as on the online edition the reader chooses what is most important to read.

I like the idea of exporting content from the online sphere into that of print. It is an interesting step of media convergence and I would be interested to see how much other online content can be transferred back to the print format.

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  1. Anonymous Riaan Wolmarans, editor | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 5:17:00 pm |  

    The M&G Online's top 10 reflects the most clicked-on stories on the site for each week.

    For a while, international stories had a disproportionate number of hits due to being picked up by Google, but the growth in our local readership and services like Google South Africa means local stories now compete on an equal footing.

    We don't have the right stats filters in place yet to measure only the local audience for each story, but we will be able to do so soon.

  2. Blogger Gregor | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 5:43:00 pm |  

    Thanks Riaan for your reply.
    Looking forward to see how the dynamic between local and international content will vary.

  3. Blogger matt | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 9:12:00 pm |  

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Anonymous matt | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 9:14:00 pm |  

    hey gregor -- riaan is right, we can separate out our local vs total traffic on our overall traffic number, but not yet on a per article basis, although we actively "geotarget" our ad served on pages. Convergence is one way traffic, although every now and again the paper carries an online story and we mark it as such. Last edition carried an online story re: sunday times daily speculation. We are now looking at a comprehensive convergence strategy, spearheaded around you-know-who joining our operation...

  5. Blogger Gregor | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 10:20:00 pm |  

    ...looking forward to the convergence and its result- thanks for commenting matt!

  6. Blogger BOb | Monday, November 20, 2006 7:03:00 pm |  

    if the citizen was actually delivered to grahamstown (which is another point altogether), you may have noticed as early as last year that we publich the top stories from www.moneyweb.co.za daily in the paper. there has been tons of positive feedback as readers can then access stories that were popular which they may have missed. our move was largely inspired by the financial times of london which publishes this daily as part of 'lex'. that said, well done to the m&g for using this blend of convergence for regular news on a weekly basis - to show south africans what they deem important.

  7. Blogger matt | Friday, November 24, 2006 10:41:00 pm |  

    its BOb again. dude you get around!

  8. Blogger BOb | Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:49:00 pm |  

    like a bad rash...