Social media expert says he hasn’t bought a newspaper in four years

BUSY day today between one thing and another which meant a rare frustration – I didn't get out for the Sunday papers at all. 

Milne Towers this Sunday was paperless. Naked of printed news.

Of course I'll catch up with them all on Monday in the office, and I had a quick run down from the guys working at HQ earlier today about what was making the main headlines, having already seen some of them at least on the Andrew Marr show.

Plus I had a wee prod about online at those editions which actually have Scottish content on the web, although I still feel like I've shirked my journalistic responsibility even if I've at saved my wallet from the associated pain.

But later what caught my eye was this Tweet from Raj Anand:

Screen shot 2009-11-08 at 18.29.46 For those who don't know, Raj Anand is a former Europe Young Entrepreneur of the Year who founded social website builder kwiqq.com.

He started following me on Twitter one day, I started following him, and low and behold when you read his website you discover he's got lots of smart and interesting things to say and do with regards to how social media can be used as a business tool. 

A true evangelist of new media, and one who actually made it work for him.

What interested me though was his statement: 

"Bought a newspaper today, first time in the last four years."

A staggering statistic to someone weaned on newsprint, and who as much as I love to indulge and work with new media, still recoils at the thought of never having picked up either a UK or foreign newspaper in four years.

But the chances are, he's not alone.

The ABC of almost every major newspaper in the world tells you that the industry is facing a shrinking client base in print.

Yet it would appear to me now that publisher don't just face a fight to retain the readers they have, they are already now contending with the first lost generations.

People who haven't so much gotten out of the newspaper habit, but have never had one in the first place.

Which is why getting their online strategies right is surely more important than ever, if we aren't to see some titles disappear from view forever.

Online Surveys & Market Research




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2 replies

  1. Glad you picked up on it Shaun. I think RSS readers and Twitter has certainly replaced my habit of reading newspapers. (for the record, I use to read a newspaper 11-12 years back on a daily basis).
    We are still consuming news from leading providers the Guardian, Telegraph etc of the world but I guess the method of distribution and channel of delivery has changed.

  2. This actually got me thinking. I don’t think I’ve paid for one in over a year. Granted, part of that is because in quite a few of the day-to-day jobs I’ve had the chance to read other people’s papers, but also because I’ve had access to digital media when travelling – reading stuff/playing a game/podcasting – on an iPod/iPhone/laptop or had a book with me.
    Even the few times prior, I picked up a magazine instead of a paper because – if truth be told – most of the news I already had from online and there’s very little in terms of features/specialists nowadays in the UK press that I have the ‘must buy’ urge from.

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