Reuters blogger Felix Salmon writes about the danger of turning BusinessWeek.com into Time.com in the wake of the hiring of Josh Tyrangiel to be the magazine’s editor after his success in increasing visits and page views at the general interest magaizne.
Salmon writes, “Iâ€™m an admirer of Tyrangiel too. But it would be depressing if Bloombergâ€™s brass hired him on the basis of his pageviews, because Time.com is an object lesson in how not to boost traffic. Reading Time.com is an exercise in frustration: the stories there are hugely painful to read. Barely-relevant links to other stories interrupt the flow on a regular basis; slideshows are everywhere; and in general itâ€™s almost impossible to get through a whole story without being forced to visit multiple pages in doing so. Revealingly, no oneâ€™s talked much about Time.comâ€™s uniques over the past few years, just its pageviews.
“The last thing that Bloomberg should ever want to do with BusinessWeek.com is use such tactics. It might make sense for Time.com to operate in the CPM-driven junk-mail paradigm, where revenues rise with pageviews and therefore you maximize the latter to maximize the former. But BusinessWeekâ€™s high-end readers wonâ€™t and shouldnâ€™t put up with such shenanigans.
“Tyrangielâ€™s job at BusinessWeek.com will be to build strong bonds with the readership â€” to make them loyal readers and to constantly exceed their expectations of what a website can deliver. That will help give Bloomberg the prestige and glory it wants from its consumer-media operations, and will also allow Bloombergâ€™s business-side staffers to position themselves happily at the high end of the market, selling relationships with readers rather than simply eyeballs-by-the-million.”
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