From Nieman Lab, an interesting look at how the NYT maps traffic between stories, and analyses why and how things are providing onward traffic or causing people to click away from the site.
One example has been in our coverage of big news events, which we tend to blanket with all of the tools at our disposal: articles (both newsy and analytical) as well as a flurry of liveblogs, slideshows, interactive features, and video. But we can’t assume that readers will actually consume everything we produce. In fact, when we looked at how many readers actually visited more than a single page of related content during breaking news the numbers were much lower than we’d anticipated. Most visitors read only one thing.
This tool’s been used to make some decisions and change stories, individually, to improve performance in real time. That’s the acid test of tools like this – do they actually get used?
But the team that uses it is the data team, not the editorial team – yet. Getting editors to use it regularly is, it seems, about changing these data-heavy visualisations into something editors are already used to seeing as part of their workflow:
we’re thinking about better ways to automatically communicate these insights and recommendations in contexts that editors are already familiar with, such as email alerts, instant messenger chat bots, or perhaps something built directly into our CMS.
It’s not just about finding the data. It’s also about finding ways to use it and getting it to the people best placed to do so in forms that they actually find useful.