Engagement with Online Articles

Dateline: November 22, 2013

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Nate Weiner, the founder of Pocket, the “DVR for the web” and a popular online site for keeping track of links you want to view later, has learned some very interesting facts about what people save and what they actually do with what they save.  In a recent Fast Company article, Nate tells writer David Zax,

 One of the more fascinating things we’ve seen,” Nate says, “are the most saved domains at Pocket.” The data tells two stories: one, that legacy brands matter–the TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian still figure near the top–but second, that upstarts can have a major footprint.

Weiner explored user behavior after a story is saved. In one experiment they learned that an article by a popular blogger bounced around Pocket for 37 days, leading to the headline “An Article Has a Lifespan of 37 Days, And Other Findings at Pocket“.  They also explored engagement with things saved at Pocket.

Engagement around articles is heavily weighted towards longer form and higher quality content,” says Weiner. Metrics of “engagement” vary, but include: the likelihood of a user actually opening a piece, how often they open it, whether an item is shared, whether it’s favorited, and whether it was read through to completion or abandoned mid-scroll. Some articles become so vibrant in Pocket that they result in a share almost every time they’re opened.

What is your measure of engagement?  Do the items published by your organization have the engagement you seek?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a nice weekend.

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