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Traffic is king, quality is queen?

Popularity 4Viewed 4181 times 2016-11-10 23:08 |Personal category:ideas|System category:Life| traffic, quality

Do you want the most traffic for your online news media platform? I guess you must want it. But are you willing to sacrifice quality to entertain readers to win the most traffic or just keep generating high quality content which many readers ignore? Presently it seems no balance between the two. So, which one should be king?

Numerous news articles update online daily, and we have no time to wait a moment to think about the quality of the content we read but browse nearly every piece of article forced onto our computer or mobile phone by news source providers. And then we become machines, browsing each piece of article with no enough thinking about what we read. Most probably, we just want to keep our time full of something, and we don’t care whether it is meaningful or not. To some extent, I can say, this proves we may feel empty inside if we don’t stuff our mind even with such rubbish.

But why can such content draw our attention so much? There is one reason I know at least. That is such poorly written articles can stimulate our nerves and curiosity. For example, one article’s name can be written like this: Come here, come here, if you click, you will find a surprise! However, after you click and read through the article very carefully, you suddenly realize you find no surprise at all, and you just find that there is an opportunity for you to draw lots or something. So, the article becomes a bait, and you become a fish. Who wins? Some people may say this is a win-win situation, for both sides get some rewards. For me, this news provider maybe is the winner, for the traffic of his website grows. The article editor doesn’t care how poor or meaningful his article is, and what he cares the most is the traffic the article generates.

However, this kind of information is relatively good if compared with real bullshit. This situation often occurs in the field of horoscope. I myself half believe what horoscope says about life, future and fortunate, and so I read lots of them previously and most of them were related to Chinese zodiac. For example, one prediction may tell you that you will earn so much money in the six months to come as long as you were born in the year of pig. If you were born in this year, you will feel so pleased and would love to click and read and learn why you will have much money in the coming months. However, others who weren’t born in that year will also click and find out why they won’t have much money. Of course, after reading, most readers will curse the editor with evil words because the article itself has no value at all. But why did the editor edit such meaningless articles? Traffic! They may have high pressure from their job and they have to do that to earn a loaf of bread.

Nevertheless, his information appears pale if you read disgusting rumors. This often appears in entertainment and political news, and sometimes can be found in the news that you don’t even know its style. For example, Jackie Chan has been wrongly reported dead several times by news media. If somebody or something has relations with Japan or Japanese, the news author often writes in the negative way because the author clearly knows that Chinese people hate Japanese. Writing such articles can attract so much attention and support from readers. Yet, maybe in his heart he admits not all Japanese are bad. Sometimes some top figures are attacked by bullshit articles, and even so some readers support him. He wins reputation and traffic! Does he care about the wrongly used grammar, sentences and words or twisted ideas? I doubt it. Traffic is king!

This doesn’t mean all the news articles are meaningless and are not worth reading. Some are indeed valuable and respect facts. I have read some WeChat travel articles from Hong Kong ifeng.com, and I think they are of taste and value although not all of them are. The articles of it also have juicy headlines but are not beyond facts. You learn something by reading the articles, such as history, culture, tradition and writing skills. Then, your taste is promoted. Although we need instant noddles like the harmless but meaningless articles, we cannot ignore the tasty content that we cannot feel if we don’t think for a while about what it tells us. 

In my mind a high quality article is one that has a very attractive heading and content that can meet the level of that heading. But most news pieces we read online are like instant noddles or even worse than that. This will form a wrong ideology in our brain and will give unfair judgments in the future even if we meet high quality content. This means our taste degenerates. 

I talked about this issue with one of my best friends, who asked me: “How can one piece of article jump out of the many if it refuses to stimulate each reader’s nerves by sacrificing quality?” I know he understood the pain of the news provider, but I couldn’t help saying: “You will sacrifice your taste.” He nodded yes.

King or queen? This is a headache for us. 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (10 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2016-11-11 10:02
thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-11-12 14:35
But sometimes you just can't get them both ..
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-11-13 11:22
voice_cd: thanks for sharing here, we have highlighted your blog.
Thanks
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-11-13 11:25
Dracarys: But sometimes you just can't get them both ..
Yes, I think so, but poorly-written content should be removed, or you had better avoid reading such things. At least read them less and generate less traffic for them. To raise your own taste of reading is much more important, I think, although this idea seems silly and unpopular.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-11-13 15:25
ampraxu123: Yes, I think so, but poorly-written content should be removed, or you had better avoid reading such things. At least read them less and generate less  ...
That's why I prefer a real book on my hands ..
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-11-15 00:18
Dracarys: That's why I prefer a real book on my hands ..
This sounds Good!
Reply Report wrckaka 2016-11-16 13:21
utility play an  important role in this society.So this phenomenon is hardly to improve.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-11-17 10:13
wrckaka: utility play an  important role in this society.So this phenomenon is hardly to improve.
You are probably right.
Reply Report Breezer-1 2016-11-22 22:14
What about the princess
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-11-23 22:23
Breezer-1: What about the princess
Good question, but I don't know either.

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