by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Panpa Bulletin : November 2011
Grow with AlphaLiner. The AlphaLiner inserting system is de- signed for producing newspapers in the low-range market and for compiling advertising supplements at direct-mail houses. The AlphaLiner sets itself apart through its ergonomic loading, ease of use, high level of production reliability and highly cost-effective operation. The AlphaLiner system is variable in size and even processes inserts that are considerably larger than the main jacket or cover. AlphaLiner – the Flexible Inserting System For Direct-Mailers The reliable AlphaLiner can be used for the production of direct mails. Frequently high numbers of inserts and the need to cover several tiny zones are typical requirements. Muller Martini Australia Pty Limited Sydney +61 (0)2 8707 7300, Melbourne +61 412 749 761, Auckland +64 (0)21 790 600 Fax +61 (0)2 9773 1245, www.mullermartini.com/au, email@example.com VS1_Alphaliner_Panpa_1_2_e.indd 1 05.10.11 09:23 Friendly fire ANY good friendship is a two-way street – and publishers would do well to remember this when it comes to Facebook. News organisations have Facebook pages that correlate with their brands. These pages may have tens of thou- sands of friends. Which is all well and good, but how much traffic is this delivering to their sites? I’ll bet it’s not much, at least as a percentage of overall site traffic. Yes, every eyeball counts and there’s a good argument that says Facebook friends are more engaged readers than a user who surfs Google to your site. But while having a Face- book presence is an essential require- ment for online news providers, I suspect publishers are getting mired in another low return exercise and training readers to never even visit the ‘parent’ news site. As publishers, we have to use the social networking giant more ef- fectively. If we don’t, we can be sure Facebook will use us. Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes no secret of the fact he wants media content – and lots of it. “I hope that we can play a part in enabling . . . the companies that are out there producing this great content to become more social,” he said at an e-G8 forum in Paris earlier in the year. “We’re going to see a lot of the transformation in these industries over the next three to five years.” Another way to look at it is that Facebook wants to become the “operating system of the web”, as Mashable’s Ben Parr puts it. The recently unveiled Facebook apps from publishers such as Yahoo News, the Washington Post, The Guard- ian, Gizmodo and a number of others, are a clear step in that direction. The apps tie in with Facebook’s new Timeline interface, as well as the new Ticker sidebar that lets users read news stories within Facebook and easily share their reading histories. It’s worth emphasising that these apps keep the reader wholly within the Facebook domain. They make no effort, other than via brand aware- ness, to steer the reader towards the originating masthead. That so many traditional and online publishers have given the go-ahead for their content to be fully replicated within Facebook – sacrificing page views on their own websites – is a big coup for Facebook. And it smacks of publisher des- peration. Washington Post CEO Donald Graham said his company expected to see better user engagement and ultimately more reading activity by putting its stories within Facebook. “If you know that several of your friends have read a story, you’ll be more interested in it,” Mr Graham told audiences at the Washington Post’s Facebook launch. “We encourage people to try it out with their friends and keep up-to-date on the news.” That is a very brave move. And more than a little ironic given that not so long ago some publishers were accusing Google of stealing their con- tent. (Google, in fact, drives a large percentage of traffic to news sites.) Either way, publishers need to ask themselves who is really benefitting. Facebook apps such as the Wash- ington Post and The Guardian’s play straight into Zuckerberg’s hands by lending their brand to the goal of keeping users within the Facebook universe. The compounding factors to date for publishers, in product terms, are the disappointing results from iPad apps and the apparent failure of Google+ to steal market share from Facebook. One social network is plenty for most people, and as long as Facebook keeps a focus on user experience and manages the privacy debate maturely, it will be hard to displace. At best, Google+ will be to social networking what Microsoft’s Bing is to online search: perfectly adequate; fun to stumble onto occasionally; and completely irrelevant to the main- stream web. iPad apps are a slightly different story. Apps just haven’t taken off as many expected they would. Given the level of investment required to build and maintain news apps that can attract paying subscribers, the question has to be asked whether that effort should be directed towards improving and marketing web sites. Apart from the potential channel conflict that a news iPad app sets up, most sites already render adequately on a tablet’s browser. Perhaps now is a time for some dif- ferent thinking. Instead of driving ahead with news apps, maybe focus on optimising news web sites for access from any device and limit tablet apps to clas- sifieds and transaction products. And get back to figuring out how to outsmart Facebook. Opinion Hugh Martin Hugh Martin is Ceo of Crown Content www.panpa.org.au The PANPA Bulletin | NOVEMBER 2011 | 19 House of cards... facebook apps play straight into Mark Zuckerberg’s hands, by lending their brand to the goal of keeping users within the facebook universe. Publishers must re-think the sustainability of an in-facebook strategy