One of the measures of a popular story is how often it’s read — either directly from the story’s host page or through sharing.
Sharing is how stories can become viral — and research has shown that you’re more likely to read a story (or watch a video or click through a photo gallery) if someone you know sent it to you as a link. Shared stories also get traffic via Facebook and Twitter.
According to an October 2011 story on poynter.org, each pasted link in September 2011 received an average of 200 click-throughs, while links shared via a social network button averaged only a few clicks. The number came from Greg Cypes, director of product for Clearspring Technologies, the parent company of AddThis, which provides sharing tools embedded on millions of websites.
The social network numbers may be changing however, as some of the most popular stories The Roanoke Times has shared on its Twitter and Facebook accounts have averaged around 200 click-throughs.
As we continue discussing our redesign, we’d like to find out more about your sharing habits. Here are the questions for you:
1. Do you often share content?
2. If so, how are you most likely to share it? (via email, social media, etc.)
3. Do you use website-based sharing tools, or do you send direct links?
4. If someone you know shares a story with you (either via email or social media sites), are you more likely to read it?