Friday, October 29, 2010

Memo from Frank Pine

Just a heads up that we’re planning to make a fairly significant change to all of our websites in the very near future: We’ll be switching our commenting functions from Topix to Facebook. BANG is already doing this on, and it’s a substantial improvement over what we have here in that it makes commenting much easier, and by linking the comments to users’ Facebook accounts, it cuts down the more objectionable anonymous comments. While the traditional thinking is that requiring registration or real names with comments reduces traffic, has actually seen an increase in traffic and referral traffic from Facebook.

We’re confident that we’ll also see an increase in traffic, especially since our structure pushes users off of our site to Topix, and we don’t accrue the value of that traffic at all.

I’ll provide more information as it comes in. We’re partnering with BANG on this and still working out some of the details and tracking mechanisms we’ll be using to implement this and measure the results.

ALSO: By the end of the day today, we will have submitted all mobile news apps to the app store for approval. In the coming week, we’ll be assigning control panel accounts to site managers and transferring control of the apps to each property. I’ll reach out separately to online editors to share more information about this as well as our preliminary work on tablet apps.

Any questions, let me know.