Though News Corp does not release subscription numbers for its iPad newspaper The Daily, the folks at The Nieman Journalism Lab, with help from PostRank, have come up with a clever proxy metric that might suggest the publication’s overall trends. By studying the number of Twitter posts that originate from the app (The Daily includes a tweet function on every article), they show that, at the very least, outbound social media activity has declined significantly, suggesting that app usage is down precipitously. There are all kinds of caveats to this method, to be sure, but it yields some interesting data, to say the least. Read the full report here.
On a side note: I’ve been mentally drafting a post about my thoughts on The Daily ever since it debuted, but I can’t seem to get around to hammering it out in full, so I may as well offer a sketch of my thoughts here, otherwise they may never see the light of day.
It’s true that The Daily qualifies as a form of experimentation, yes, but it doesn’t strike me as a very imaginative or a particularly adventurous form of experimentation. In fact, it’s about as uninspired an experiment as a publisher could undertake. To me, The Daily is a near perfect realization of exactly the idea that occurs to print editors every single time they get their hands on digital media for the first time, regardless of what the underlying technology might be: “Let’s make it just like what we know so well in print.” As a result I found it sadly lifeless and lacking in urgency. What a waste of US$30 million.
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