Information these days doesn’t get found. It finds you. That’s the conclusion based on new internal data released by the New York Times, which shows their home page visitors dropping from over 140 million in early 2011 to just over 80 million in 2013.
The reason is because “readers increasingly find links to news articles from social media, email, and other sources,” according to the article. This is supported by other data showing that “overall traffic to the Times isn’t falling; it’s just coming in through the ‘side door.’”
So with the same traffic coming through different sources, what are the implications? It means hard news sources like the Times will need to continue adapting to push their sourced and vetted material through all the soft news clamoring for readers’ attention.
They will need to aggressively pursue “push media” rather than “pull media,” which “rely on readers actively requesting them.” In other words, visiting a home page is a choice made by an active and curious reader. That’s a “pull.” But being fed articles from yahoo and facebook requires no effort from the reader. It is “pushed” by a content provider.