I wrote about the importance of “social journalism” a few days ago, but probably I really didn’t get to the point. But a random piece of information made it a bit more clear for me: Público, one of the reference dailies in Portugal, has more friends on Facebook than circulating copies out in any given day. Ok, they’re not really friends, it’s the number of people who like their Facebook page, just 43 thousand of them. Not bad for a paper that sells around 35 thousand copies a day. Oh and it’s the most popular newspaper online (if we cut the sports newspapers).
So, what’s the meaning of this? In a brief conversation over Twitter with Armando Alves (@armandoalves), a digital media and web strategist, he pointed out what we should be really looking for:
And he’s right when he said that that specific snippet of info means only that a lot of people clicked on a “Like” button. But I also think that Público, like other papers, has a personality that appeals to a specific type of readers. It’s been always a well educated newspaper, if you wanted to look smart and creative 15 years ago you had to buy it everyday. Now you just have to push the Like button on your Mac laptop. This means there’s a specific target audience, and it’s more online than buying paper, and they’re going to the website from the posts and shares in social networks. Does this call for new strategies? Definitely.
There are tools willing to deal with this new reality, like the Readness Chrome add-on. It gives you a bit of serendipity and peer recommendation with a social twist. Are we ever going to look at a news website frontpage ever again? Is the news industry in the need for some social healing? Your answers are welcome in the comment box.