Newspapers cashing in on social media

October 25, 2006

Mashable (quickly becoming a must visit destination every morning) is carrying a story about The Sun newspaper and it’s first foray into the social networking world.

My Sun is the newspapers first attempt at acquiring some user generated content through a social networking type platform. It’s fairly obvious the My comes from MySpace and it’s obvious a lot of inspiration has been taken from the social media darlings of the moment.

However, I don’t want to take anything away from The Sun as in my eyes it looks like they’ve made a really good job of coming up with a social space which will allow them to engage their readers and create a community around their newspaper website.

Everyone wants to talk about the news, and let’s face it, The Sun carries the kind of stories that get people talking!

The core of this service sits around discussion forums, a blogging platform and the ability to add comments and send in pictures related to stories on the site. It’s all tied around a nice feature caled My Sun which gives signed up users a profile area to tell the world about themselves and a blog to post their opinion on things. Also, My Page is a nice feature where you can specify categories of stories that interest you and they get delivered to your page. It’s this level of personalisation that could make this a really shrewd move for The Sun!

I think it’s a great idea, not that it’s groundbreaking, but it’s been nicely implemented. The selection of services offered gives real value to users and regular readers of The Sun online are sure to sign up.

A very smart first step into the social arena for this tabloid newspaper!

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