Death to the page view, cont.
When you don’t do stuff for the sake of pageviews — for example, at Journalism.co.uk, we soon realized that actually we weren’t going to make any more or less money by having numbers. I’m hoping that one of the things in the future that happens is we’re less wedded to metrics, less devoted to pageviews — we’re just devoted to creating good stuff through having strong brands that then pays for itself. That will mean that we don’t do things like chase clicks. One of the innovations, a U.S. example, that I’ve really liked in the last year or so is Evening Edition. The idea that if you send the stories by email, and you don’t expect people to click through if you’re on a weak 3G connection, then you don’t necessarily want to click through to another page — it’s interrupting the reading experience. Also, all of that stuff Anthony De Rosa wrote about on Medium, this idea of why we’re all rewriting 500-word stories that other news organizations already have. If we can divorce ourselves — not totally — from this “how many unique users have we got a month,” then I think the news industry can be a lot more creative.