Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Christian Science Monitor tweaks its engagement algorithm

digiday reporting:
The Christian Science Monitor, a 106-year-old news organization that boasts a serious, civic-minded audience, would seem well poised to crack the engagement code. A digital-focused publication since 2008, the Monitor ought to be ahead of its competitors in keeping readers on its site and engaged. Yet the audience isn’t as committed as one might think; has a high bounce rate (70 percent leave after viewing one page) and low pages per visit (4 on average).
The Monitor is betting that it can reverse those numbers, though, through a so-simple-it’s-brilliant tactic: simply asking for more engagement. Among a raft of new features coming to the site starting today, the most prominent is a “take action” link in articles that eventually will lead to a page with related stories, conversation starters and links to relevant outside organizations and elected representatives...
Similarly, the Monitor has begun asking readers at the bottom of stories for feedback or suggestions for follow-up stories. The Monitor had tested this approach on its politics channel, DC Decoder, and in addition to getting readers’ feedback, it asked for their email, which also provided a way to contact readers after the polling.

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