What Social Media Did for USA Today

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When USA Today first embraced and integrated social media functionality into the online news site, not everyone was sure it would work. Well, Jupiter Research points out today that all the naysayers have been emphatically been proven wrong.
Among the new features that the site added, with the help of the social media services of Pluck Corp., were the ability to:


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  • Very interesting article.
    Good for the visionaries of the world!

  • That’s fantastic. I’ve been rooting for them as it seemed like a pretty brave move.

  • I too was skeptical at first. The design and approach they took for promoting their new community features seemed too much in some places, not enough in others. But it looks like they did it just right to gain some traction. Looking at the numbers, I find the jump in registration most interesting. Not only is this indicative of the fact that the new users saw the new features and wanted to participate, it also gives USA Today a new target for additional permission marketing.

  • NewzClewz

    I am glad someone is pointing this out.
    I was talking to a friend of mine (who happens to be a journalist for a dead-tree news outlet) about social news a couple of weeks ago. I was telling him how I consume most of my news through various social news sites, and that I usually get news his newspaper eventually prints, weeks or months before he prints it. I was not telling him this because I was trying to put down newspapers; I was talking to him about it because I was encouraging him to align himself with a different type of news outlet. He is a good guy and an excellent journalist… he would be a great contributor!
    My friend gave me a the long story (someone fed him) about all of the quality filters REAL news has in place to ensure the public is getting rock solid factual news. After chuckling a bit, I asked him to go take a look at Digg. I asked him to submit a story to Digg and see how quickly it passes through the quality filters of a huge social network. My point is that the collective can be more efficient and effective than a few people, even if they are on the top of the news game.
    Funny thing is, he did give it a try. He submitted a poor quality story full of factual errors and had it shreaded and dugg down into nothingness. He submitted a quality news story, and per his own words, received 10 times the commentary he gets during the entire editorial cycle. He did say he had to weed through lots of average feed-back to get to the gems, but that it was well worth it!
    Good post.

  • NewzClewz

    Ooops.. just noticed a little typo in my comment above… guess that makes me human.
    Have a good one!

  • Great story, and it makes you wonder what other media outlets are waiting for. The promise of social media is huge — and the barrier to entry is relatively low. We’re talking primarily about a new mindset, not a multi-million-dollar investment. Think how much more valuable a local radio station’s website would be with these kinds of tools — and with the ability to cross-pollinate the radio and Web content. As is stands now, most local-radio Web presence is all-but-useless.
    Another beauty of the social media phenomenon is that “journalism” is really becoming about the quality of the story-telling, and not the size of the distribution network. A small nonprofit can write a genuine human-interest story about the work it’s doing, and distribute it to thousands of people through Digg. Social media participants will decide whether it’s worthy of passing on, taking into account who wrote it, and how engaging it is.

  • Social Media In Action – USA Today

    There is a great post today showing what using Social Media did for USA Today. Read about it on Pronetadvertising.com. They show some pretty amazing stats:
    380% increase in new user registrations
    21% increase in unique visitors
    40,000 comments poste…