Slate does Social Media #9

( * Note, this is to meet requirements of post #5  )

The folks at Slate clearly understand social media better than just about anyone. While other major media publications have added links and apps to their homepages, for example; Facebook and Twitter, I think Slate has been way out front on this.

On Slate’s homepage I counted at least four perhaps five areas devoted to social media.

And Slate goes beyond just doing the standard social network sites like Twitter and Facebook. There are links to apps for both iPhone and Android. Other links are setup for Podcasts or for the Kindle. The site is also coordinating with parent company WashPo on something called the Washington Post Social Reader. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact the Slate from the very beginning has viewed itself as a multimedia site and not just a news portal.

However, as I noted in my very first post in this series (Slate#1-An Introduction) it has not all been all smooth sailing for the site.“The WSJ reports the larger company (The Washington Post Co.) reported a 50 percent decline in second quarter profits, with online operations showing a 13 percent drop in ad revenue. That led to the lay-offs of four of Slate’s approximately 50 staffers, including long-time media critic Jack Shafer.”

Slate has also been seeing some mixed traffic number in terms of visits to the website. While overall traffic is up from last year, there have been some months, (July), in which it was actually below 2010 levels (WSJ). Still, for the moment WashPo seems committed to Slate. The problem is there may simply not be enough demand, or enough eyeballs, for all the similar sites out there.

Salon is one example of a competitor site. Huffington Post also has a similar look and feel, though I think Slate is better than either of them. While there is some aggregation, its nowhere near the level that we see at HuffPo. I really enjoy the original content that is on the site and hope that the broader media company doesn’t cut and run if things get really rough.

So, social media use is definitely a strongpoint for Slate and I think it is here where the publication really has a solid lead and only needs to build on what it has already done to maintain it.


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