Wednesday, February 04, 2009
What does "buzz" mean for the bottom line?

When it comes to “social media buzz,” newspapers are laying the smackdown on magazines, according to a story in Media in Canada. Chicago-based Cision, a global media research database, conducted a study measuring how often media outlets were mentioned on “message boards, blogs, forums and other social media like,” between Dec. 29, 2008 and Jan. 27, 2009 and how often those mentions received comments from other users.

Only one magazine website,, cracked the top 10, having received 223 mentions on the “social web” and 926 comments on those mentions.

Here’s the top 10 list, ranked by number of mentions:

1. (2,858 mentions, 5,727 comments)
2. (1,501 mentions, 423 comments)
3. (1,449 mentions, 1,363 comments)
4. (549 mentions, 1,540 comments)
5. (223 mentions, 926 comments)
6. (216 mentions, 432 comments)
7. ( 214 mentions, 184 comments)
8. (105 mentions, 131 comments)
9. (69 mentions, 26 comments)
10. (62 mentions, 30 comments)

So, what does it all mean? Here’s my office chair analysis:

  • People are still interested in the information and analysis provided by newspapers, even if they’re not paying for the print product.
  • Newspapers (and newsweekly magazines) dominate online discussions because unlike most magazines, they cover a broad range of topics. Take The Sports fans can link to something Damien Cox has written about the Leafs, while politics fans can link to something Chantal Hébert has written about Michael Ignatieff.
  •  Media outlets can no longer “control” what happens to the stories they publish.

I wonder, though:  What, if anything, will the Cision report mean when it comes to advertising? Will media buyers be more inclined to buy banners on a site because it’s getting a bunch of links on Facebook and Twitter? Or will they just go straight to Facebook and Twitter and buy there? Aren’t newspapers (and magazines) digging their own grave by spending thousands of dollars to produce content that people are reading and discussing elsewhere?

Holy old media thinking, Marco!

- Marco Ursi
About Me
Marco Ursi
Marco is the editor of MastheadOnline. His blog offers a mix of commentary, service and ideas related to Canadian magazines.


Twitter: @MarcoUrsi

Most Recent Blog Comment
Jen says:
Masthead, why don't you do this anymore?...
Blog Archive
2009 (40)