Constant checking [news] is linked to boredom

One of the headlines in the report “A new model for news” ads a valuable perspective to why people check their news while in front of the computer.

Putting People First links to a study commissioned by the Associated Press which used ethnographic research to investigate the news consuming lives of six digital news readers around the world. Their findings, available in a report on the Experentia website, found that these six people didn’t necessarily read news in order to remain updated and knowledgeable, sometimes/often they did it merely to fight boredom.

This would imply two things:
- We should question if this behavior is “consuming NEWS” or “being ENTERTAINED”.
- More “serious” news sites with less frequent visitor patterns should not try to copy the content and strategies of the most frequently visited news sites, but rather keep focusing on creating content with depth and news-quality, not merely attractive headlines.

We have a tendency to too quickly analyze the behavior of some online categories and apply their success metrics too all “similar” categories. This isn’t necessarily always correct. The reason for this is that we are not looking at the nuances of participant behavior – simply just the category of the activity being performed (like visiting news sites, booking tickets or purchasing merchandise).

Some examples of “blind” copying:
- Princess Cruise Lines experienced that people don’t want to book their cruises like people book flights – and had to rebuild their whole online booking agent.
- The e-tailer/shop model is designed to make products people have already decided to purchase available for distribution. This is not a model to copy if you are in the business of creating a consumer need.
- When is traveling by train an experience (like Princess Cruise Lines) and when is it transportation (like airplanes)?

Image by Steve Kay on flickr.com

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