As I write this, Tara Colborne’s guest post about the death of Amanda Todd continues to drive traffic to Teaching Out Loud. Soon after the entry was posted on Wednesday morning, a columnist/blogger from the Vancouver Sun picked up on the piece, posting an excerpt and a link to the full entry. As a result 42% of the 2037 page views on Teaching Out Loud that day came directly from the Sun connection, with another 21% coming from Facebook. When I looked in on my site metrics at the end of the day, I was astounded at the popularity of the post, given the fact that I get, on average, about 150 views per day.
But an interesting thing happened the next day. The number of visitors increased, but the metrics did a bit of a flip. Of the 2300 visitors on Thursday, 18% came from the Vancouver Sun and close to 45% came from Facebook.
The phenomenon, if you want to call it that, put me in mind of a blog post I recently wrote over at the Canadian Education Association. There I was reflecting on how a stronger connection between traditional and social media could help to create different conversations in education (and other areas as well). This week’s connection between Teaching Out Loud, Facebook and the Vancouver Sun was quite serendipitous, but what if stronger efforts were made to connect mainstream and twitter stream (or Facebook, Linked In…) As more and more news agencies look to web-based technologies for news gathering as well as delivery, why can’t we think more assertively about how an intentional connection between the formal world of journalism and the more fluid world of social media and blogging could form a more fruitful relationship?