Friday, June 11, 2010
Don’t let stories die online
It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but in a lot of ways, print content is far more timely than online content. After all, print content has a built-in expiry date, whereas online content can live online for many, many years.

This is a good thing! If you have a site with a solid base of evergreen content, you can devote resources to what you don’t have, rather than creating a different version of the same seasonal story every year.

After all, old content doesn’t always go out of date. And under the right circumstances, it can be resurrected as relevant to readers today. Take this article on Deepak Chopra from The Tyee. It’s originally from 2001, resurrected because Chopra is back in Vancouver and on people’s minds.

Some important points:
• This works because the editors note the original publishing date of the story. Readers have context by which to read it.
• This doesn’t mean you can build a content database and then forget about it. Readers appreciate a mix of the old and the new.

• Showcasing archives content in this manner shows readers that your editors understand their readership and their product. Not only is the story itself interesting, what’s significant to readers is that Deepak Chopra is still in the public consciousness, nine years later – and that this article is still relevant reading.


- Kat Tancock
About Me
Kat Tancock
Kat Tancock is a freelance writer, editor and digital consultant based in Toronto. She has worked on the sites of major brands including Reader's Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living, Homemakers, Elle Canada and Style at Home and teaches the course Creating Website Editorial at Ryerson University.
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