Newspapers 2.0: Social Bookmarking links on British newspaper sites

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 10 May 2007

Over the last couple of weeks I have been looking at the Web 2.0 features on British newspaper websites.

One of the main areas that I was interested in was to find out which newspapers were providing social bookmarking widgets in the way of buttons and links to services like Digg and del.icio.us.

Of the eight newspapers that I reviewed, I found that only two, The Sun and The Independent, seemed to have resisted the temptation to add these kind of buttons anywhere on their site.

In some ways this seems strange for The Sun, who over the last year or so have generally been quite progressive with embracing new web technologies and the user-generated and social aspects of the internet - even if they do still insist on disabling the user's right-mouse button with JavaScript, like it is 1997.

As well as The Sun and The Independent, The Guardian has tended to stay aloof from this phenomena - only their "Comment Is Free" off-shoot sports any kind of social bookmarking links. It does score bonus points though for being the only newspaper blog-style site so far to link out to Technorati.

This emphasises one of my main findings in this area - that a lot of newspapers are not consistent about whether they have these buttons or not.

The Daily Mail, for example, has them on stories in their technology, sport and entertainment sections, but not on their main news pages. The Mirror, meanwhile, has different sets of social bookmarking links depending on whether the user is viewing their main body of content, or whether they are viewing a 'blog'.

For that reason, I've broken this table of who links to what into two sections - which social bookmarking services are linked to from a newspaper's main stories, and which from their blogs.

And In the absence of a standard international icon for "Sometimes" or "Depends" I've used an orange question mark icon to indicate where the presence of links varies.

Social Bookmarking links on news articles

  Daily Express Daily Mail Daily Mirror The Guardian The Independent The Sun The Telegraph The Times
del.icio.us
Yes
Sometimes*
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Digg
Yes
Sometimes*
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
No
Fark
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Newsvine
Yes
Sometimes*
No
No
No
No
Yes
Yes
Now Public
No
Sometimes*
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
Reddit
Yes
Sometimes*
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
* Only on certain sections - e.g. sport, technology, entertainment

Social Bookmarking links on newspaper blogs

As I mentioned, the services linked to are often not consistent across a single newspaper web property, and the clearest distinction seemed to be between news and editorial content on the one hand, and on the content badged as 'blogs' on the other. Newspapers seemed, on the whole, to be more confident of adding these types of links to their blog content.

  Daily Express Daily Mail Daily Mirror The Guardian The Independent The Sun The Telegraph The Times
Blinklist
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
del.icio.us
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sometimes*
No
No
Yes
No
Digg
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sometimes*
No
No
Yes
No
Fark
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Magnolia
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Newsvine
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sometimes*
No
No
Yes
No
Now Public
No
Yes
No
Sometimes*
No
No
Yes
No
Reddit
Yes
Yes
Yes
Sometimes*
No
No
Yes
No
Tailrank
No
No
No
Sometimes*
No
No
No
No
Technorati
No
No
No
Sometimes*
No
No
No
No
* Only on "Comment Is Free", not on blogs.guardian.co.uk

Of course, these tables beg the question - does placing buttons like these on their site produce any value for the newspapers? It is a difficult one to quantify, but a question I hope to return to soon.

1 Comment

Hi
Is article submission increase web traffic?
and please let me know what is social bookmarking and it's Seo effect?

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