Below are a few digital musings from events over the past week or so. Specifically, these include an organisation who want you to access their content but can’t entice you; another who wants to access the content of others but can’t; and one company who probably wishes the ability for anyone to create online content wasn’t quite so easy…
Firstly, to News International, who this week launched their new, soon-to-be hidden behind a paywall, Times and Sunday Times websites (and an iPad version of The Times today). The response to the design of these sites has been positive amongst media peers, though as the tweet below shows, some people are already abandoning the paper’s website before the paywall even kicks in:
Someone else also pointed out that compared to other media sources, the cost of buying a hole year of The Times doesn’t necessarily stack up:
There are of course arguments against both these points – James Harding, editor of The Times, made some pretty robust efforts on the Today programme for example. However, a quick (and wholly unrepresentative) straw poll amongst friends outside of the office yesterday quickly confirmed two things:
1. Knowledge of the paywall launch is patchy at best
2. The majority of people aren’t going to pay for it and will simply go to other media sources (a fact confirmed by a survey in the FT on Wednesday)
Point two echoes the view of many in the industry, though the first point might disappoint News International somewhat. Either way, the decision has been made and the clock is ticking.
Secondly, I was at a networking event last week and got talking all things social media with a senior PR from a financial services company. Inevitably, the conservation turned to Twitter at one point and it was then that the PR revealed how he had been trying to convince his employer of the need to have access to Twitter and other social media at work for well over a year without success.
We then discussed how this was effectively preventing him from doing a large chunk of his job on a daily basis. Surely if any sector needs to monitor online conversations then it’s the financial sector given events over the past two years?
Finally, BP, which as well as tackling an ongoing environmental crisis, now have a new problem in for the form of a Twitter doppleganger. A friend first pointed this out to me on Monday lunchtime, at which point @BPGlobalPR had around 7,000 followers. Fast forward to this morning, and that tally has spiralled to over 70,000. The feed is also attracting increasing coverage from traditional media with CNET describing the posts yesterday as “comedy black gold”
So far, BP has appeared fairly relaxed about this development, concentrating solely on stopping the leak instead. Despite this initial stance it’s going to be interesting to see if they change tack at all over the coming days, particularly if the latest containment efforts suffer any further setbacks or the content changes in tone or substance.