If you don't attract enough traffic as well as likes, shares and comments, you could go out of business and/or lose influence.
The media outlets, such as AOL, where I have been a contract blogger, have real-time dashboards. They continuously provide those metrics. There's no ambiguity. If you are determined to be a high producer (and keep your job) you "get it" that you better post on topics which pull in the eyeballs and trigger reader response.
What we in media soon discover is that 3 topics are guaranteed to do that. No other breaking news will push them entirely "off the page." It helps a lot, though, if online video is attached.
The Big3 are:
- Suicides. An example is that of Kenneth Freeling, former partner at defunct law firm Dewey Leboeuf. He jumped to his death. What makes that story continue to resonate is that his son had also committed suicide. The question which hovers over that tragedy is: Is there a family suicide gene?
- Political scandals. Fox News has been especially clever about how to position and package scandals related to the Democrats. The most recent is that former CNN player Donna Brazile admitted giving Hillary Clinton a question before a CNN town hall debate. Here is the Daily Mail print coverage of that.
- Layoffs, especially in high-paying high-status niches like law. Recently, it's not only the layoffs of lawyers which receive tremendous traffic on legal digital news site Abovethelaw.com. The involuntary reduction of staff, such as word-processors and paralegals, has also become clickbait. Those with a job enjoy reading about those without. Those without a job enjoy seeing these newly unemployed show up at outplacement - in a daze. Here is Kathryn-Rubino's iconic article on Abovethelaw.com about the 2009 layoffs - aka massacre - in the legal sector.
Some old-line folks who want media to always be high-brow, as with The New Yorker, have lost their credibility. At least about media. Everyone in the know knows you won't make it in 2017 unless you can do this: Grow page views and their long tail of likes, shares and comments.
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