Tuesday, July 10, 2007

USAToday's crash and burn?

Howard Owens asks, "So what’s up with USAToday’s traffic?"

I kicked-the-tires on the new USAToday site back in March when they first rolled-it-out. I declared at the time that it wasn't going to work:

I suspect that I will never return to their home page again. Even though I personally liked the design I don't go to "destination" sites anymore. The bottom-line is their site design just doesn't matter- social networking or not.

Can they be saved? I doubt it, but then I'm firmly in the camp that most newspapers are toast. There are several things they should do immediately to try to stem the bleeding:

  1. Put the syndication feeds where they can be easily found.
  2. Abandon the destination site thinking. There is only room for a few destination sites in the new world: Wikipedia, Facebook, Google...
  3. Follow CBS's lead and build partnerships with everyone possible. Think viral.
  4. Get rid of almost all of the social networking. The conversations are taking place elsewhere.

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