Warning: include_once(/home/thompsky/blog/joethink.com/blog/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php): failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/thompsky/blog/joethink.com/blog/wp-settings.php on line 217

Warning: include_once(): Failed opening '/home/thompsky/blog/joethink.com/blog/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-support/wordpress-support.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php:/usr/local/php5/lib/pear') in /home/thompsky/blog/joethink.com/blog/wp-settings.php on line 217
Thinking about a new product? Think about your article page’s needs. – Joe Murphy

Skip to content


Thinking about a new product? Think about your article page’s needs.

Online news organizations have plenty of opportunities to launch new products that build on their information, build on their community, or launch distinct information. Many of these products will be useful … not all of them will be successful. For newspaper-dot-coms not sure where to start, I recommend building an app on top of a product that already gets a lot of clicks. Build something on top of your article page.

Sure, many others have talked about how articles are a shabby content crutch in this information age. But until you can afford that brand new pair of Holovaty-brand bionic legs, build on your success…. no, not your home page — that wreck of a page oughta be put to death, not built on. Build on your article page.

Here are some ideas for apps that can harness and extend the power of your article page:

  • An in-house article bookmarking tool. This is Ryan Sholin’s idea, and it’s a good one. I mean, what fraction of a percent of people are actually using those social bookmarking links on every page of your article? Sure, this requires some sort of registration system to handle the data, but you have one of those, right? And think, once it’s done, it’s another way to break the page-view vice and figure out what articles your readers are so interested in, they bookmarked it to come back to later.
  • Loomia’s “People Who Like This May Also Like...” widget. Now, I haven’t used this so I can’t speak to its greatness, but I can tell you this: it’s free. Well, okay, not really — it’s $50 a month, if you do fewer than one million views. But hey, that’s cheap. And as someone who is probably cheap themselves (kidding, kidding), I’m sure you appreciate that.
  • Add your most-popular article lists. Better yet, integrate your section-specific most-popular lists. If you’re feeling adventurous, put your section-specific least popular lists on there — show the people what they’re missing. Don’t have a most-popular app? Do you have any type of site stats package? Well, get yourself a freelancer and fix that problem. It shouldn’t take more than 5 hours for a freelancer to build an awful-but-works app… make that ten hours if they’re the brother / sister / cousin of someone you know.

Got any you’d like to share? Let me know~


Note: I see the a snarky tone in this post. I can’t say I’m proud of that, and I can’t say it won’t happen again. If you have any suggestions for handling the snark (or a good newsroom “I-can’t-believe-they-said-that”-type joke), won’t you throw it my way?

Posted in Ideas, Industry, Journalism, Observations, On The Job, Online, Practice, Step Away From The Article, Storytelling, Themes, Tips. Tagged with , , , , , .

2 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. links for 2008-01-08 : James Mitchell linked to this post on January 8, 2008

    [...] Thinking about a new product? Think about your article page’s needs For newspaper-dot-coms not sure where to start, I recommend building an app on top of a product that already gets a lot of clicks. Build something on top of your article page. (tags: online+journalism newspaper+websites articles technology) [...]

  2. Article before-and-after: Publishing Breaking News information : Joe Think » Online News Blog Archive linked to this post on March 30, 2008

    [...] I’ve written about potential products that can be added to news article pages before. That’s all well and good, but there are distinct problems with the article as a means of presenting information too (I have posts tangential to this topic in the Step Away From The Article category). [...]

You must be logged in to post a comment.