She goes on to dispense some critical-sounding advice, implying that the mainstream media does not understand online and that newspapers are partly to blame for their own predicament.
“The approach, ‘Let’s just take whatever appeared in the print paper and put it on a web page’ doesn’t work,” she says.
She points out how sites such as YouTube and the online retailer Amazon.com construct their content so that there is always more to buy or more to watch. “I can go to various newspapers and when you scroll down to the bottom, what do you do next?
“There were related stories and related videos but those were up on the top. So now the most committed user – the one that reads through the entire piece – is now looking at the bottom of the page with nothing to do.”
Ms Mayer says linking to more information, engaging readers in dialogue and making the content more interactive are part of the “web fundamentals” that could be used to “end up with a product that will look different than news online does today”.
I cannot stress how this strategy of ‘constant information bombardment’ is a make or break for any web company specialising in content or shopping. That was how Youtube became so ridiculously viral, how you could impulse buy tenfold via Amazon and how some major blogs have bounce rates of 0%.
Dannychoo’s blog is an excellent example of this, and it is obvious that his employment background in Amazon Japan reflects on how his blog functions to be the leading Japanese lifestyle blog for westerners. A lot of content is contributed by fans, there are sharp photos everywhere to get you clicking, and at least 3 related stories at the end of each article followed by user comments. It is hard to leave the website! I am not endorsing the blog for the content, but for the pure genius of the entire setup!
It is not simply just the idea of ‘linking back to other content’, but also the complex algorithms behind ensuring that these links are sharply targetted to your interests.
It is upselling in the most grandest of scales and ensures that every cent you pay for marketing your website online is well worth it.
What keeps you going back to a website and what keeps you there?