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News sites need to act like networks

News sites need to act like networks

Although content producers have preferred to control their own distribution on the Web, it will not be a successful strategy for most producers in the long run.

Outlined in a new report "Networked Media: Thriving In An Intermediated World," JupiterResearch suggests content producers must acknowledge that intermediaries, such as blogs, portals, and aggregators, make important connections between content producers and their audiences.

Content producers have struggled to manage their relationships with intermediaries on the Web since the beginning of the medium. But intermediaries have become a crucial link between producers and the audiences they need.

For example, portals have become the single most important source of news on any medium for online users aged 18 to 24.

Some 57 percent access news via portals compared to 21 percent gathering information from a cable news site. And online users now trust portals nearly as much as traditional news media.

Analyst at JupiterResearch, Barry Parr, said,  "Not only must content producers embrace intermediaries to serve their own audiences and reach out to new ones."

"They should exploit opportunities to become intermediaries for their core audiences."

According to the report, the emerging role of intermediaries on the Web represents a challenge and an opportunity for content producers. The challenge is that they will lose control of their distribution systems.

But because those who try to retain control of their distribution will likely fall behind their competitors, it is in their best interest to learn from progress made by well established portals and blogs and incorporate best practices into their sites.

President of JupiterResearch, David Schatsky, added, "To thrive on the Web, news sites must become more network-focused and aggregate content from other sources while distributing their own content through intermediaries.

"By paying closer attention to the tendencies of the end user, these sites will be able to evolve and meet the needs of a wider online audience."

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