Web Sitings: The Online Flavor of The Week
“It’s a gauge of what premier editorial pages and columnists around the country were writing about last week. … If you’re interested, for instance, in what people were saying about the stimulus package last week, you can go to the index and locate, in just that one place, all kinds of commentary on it,” Wilkinson explains.
He plans to grow The Week Index to make it progressively more interactive and useful. At the moment, you can overlay the prior week’s stories to see how much an item has risen or fallen in the scope of media attention.
Another new addition to the site is Great Satan, a short clip taken from an international news source that highlights, verbatim, what other nations really think about the United States. Since The Week incorporates predominantly national news sources, Wilkinson thought it would be fun to add this tongue-in-cheek tidbit. “We try to find rhetoric that’s amusing as well as vitriolic. It is a reminder that the U.S. is not always well-liked around the world,” he says.
He is also happily surprised that traffic is increasing to TheWeek.com’s syndicated cartoons.
Newsletters and Subscriptions Drive Traffic and Revenue
TheWeek.com’s daily e-newsletter helps capture visitors’ e-mail addresses and demographics, builds traffic to the site, and provides coverage of the top story of the day. Currently, the e-newsletter reaches 6,000 subscribers, and Wilkinson says there is a significant spike in traffic to the site directly after it hits.
Print subscriptions and gift subscriptions provide The Week with a growing source of online revenue. Wilkinson says subscriptions ordered online have nearly doubled in the past two years that the site’s been online, and gift subscriptions also have seen significant growth, especially during the holiday season. While these are important revenue generators, Wilkinson is wary of sending too many e-mail promotions to print and e-newsletter subscribers about the site and its offerings. “We don’t want to clutter our readers’ in-boxes … so we try to e-mail [them] only when we have good reason to,” he says.