Originally Posted by SuperInfinity
I'll tell you what's lunatic: this policy.
The main market of the Irish Times nowadays is the over 40s, and in particular the over 50s. Why the hell would they want to have to join Twitter, Facebook or LinkIn to even write a letter to the newspaper? I don't use any of those sites, nor do I want to. I couldn't think of anything more stupid to do than this. Their biggest demographic percentage-wise is probably among old people who don't even know how to use the internet.
How in the world is this going to "increase their sales"? This is just going to make it harder for people to write in. I don't know if you have some sort of complicated psychology and social engineering and minus the quadrupled root of minus 2 theory about how it will actually increase sales, but for my money, it's an obvious step backwards.
Newspaper "sales" used to be about the number of copies sold. Nowadays its more complicated, and it's likely the Irish times expects to see hard copies sold declining pretty rapidly over the coming years, continuing the trend over recent years and probably seeing that trend accelerating. Virtually no one under 30 now buys newspapers except occasionally, and the demographic buying the IT is getting older and older every year, and not being replaced.
By trying to force some of their online traffic through social networking sites, they think they can get more attention from more people on the net, and thus grow their presence there, and thus try to grow their revenue from the net.
It may seem a step back to you, but to the Irish Times it is the only hope they have of surviving. Even then, it remains to be seen if they can survive.