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Social Bookmarking Supercharges Traffic

Discover discovers—and, yes, digs—Digg.

Henry Donahue By Henry Donahue
05/29/2008 -10:00 AM

Magazine Web site traffic (up 12 percent in Q1 according to the MPA) continues to be a bright spot in an otherwise rough year for publishers. Magazine sites are getting savvier about blogs, video and user-generated content (especially recipes).

In the last six months, however, the biggest traffic drivers here at Discover have been Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and a host of other social bookmarking or sharing sites.

A typically brief and unscientific survey of the big magazine sites reveals some interesting social bookmarking trends:

  • Almost everyone covers their bases by including a button from ShareThis or AddThis. Both services aggregate the literally dozens of other bookmarking sites, from IceRocket to Propeller to Simpy, making it easy for users to share your content. AddThis and ShareThis are both less than two years old and each has over 20 million users.

My take is that there is still tremendous growth here for publishers as Web users coalesce around half a dozen winners in this space. Managing your relationships with the bookmarkers (plus what site real estate you bet on whom) will determine how much of that growth you capture.


Henry Donahue By Henry Donahue -- Henry Donahue is the CEO of Discover Media LLC, the publisher of Discover magazine and Donahue was formerly CFO of Primedia's Lifestyles Magazine Group, a 30-plus magazine division, which included Soap Opera, Crafts, Boating, Equine and History titles.

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