Looking at hard core figures suggest that, for http://guardian.co.tt, the 2nd highest majority of traffic comes from Trinidad and Tobago. The first is the US.
For trinidadexpress.com: 41.3% comes from Trinidad.
For newsday.co.tt: 55% comes from Trinidad.
Quoting Mr. Gregory Mohammed:
It appears that these social networking sites have got easy content management right.
Now ask yourself...what drives traffic to websites? Google will tell you, forget about trying to trick the search engine and just concentrate on putting more and more CONTENT on your site.
Now how does one go about getting content on the site? Well either you do it yourself or hire people to write content for you....or as in the social networking sites, you let the community do it for you.
Facebook is a great example of a social networking site where the users are the ones doing the hard work and putting CONTENT onto the site themselves. This way, the site does not have to hire people per se to write content.
Remember content brings traffic, traffic brings revenue from ads. Facebook serves 550,000 images per second. Try and really think about that figure. For those interested in learning how Facebook is able to serve 550, 000 images per second, read here.
To bring it down to a local level:
trinituner.com and trinishack.com let users add content to the site. This is great, because the site gets content for free. And remember content brings traffic and traffic brings revenue.
So what is really my point?
Why is nytimes.com so popular? Because it is the known place to go to for news...why?
Because they probably have a dedicated staff to just write content for the site. So it eventually trickles down and people just go to the site to get the news because its where the news break first (well at least one of the places).
I am sure that if the 3 local newspaper sites concentrated on just adding content and content and content as it happens, you will see a breakthrough....one of the sites will evolve as the place to go to get the latest news on Trinidad and Tobago. But this will mean having writers on standby to write articles as it happens. Management might ask, where is the money going to come from to pay these people? Is management willing to suffer a hit for the the POSSIBILITY of profits in the future? I would....and I have.
Try explaining content >> traffic >> revenue to management. Good luck!
Some people (most?) have a hard time in believing providing free content on a website will make money. I really beg to differ. Initially, you may not rake in millions, but as your site grows, it will pull through if you keep at it and do things the right way.
I would love to read the post mortem on trinidiary.com. What I know is that they used to provide a newsletter of some sort for free. Then they decided to charge for and it eventually flopped. I am not exactly sure how my email ended up on their newsletter list but it did and I subsequently un-subscribed because I thought it was spam. Go figure.
And there IS revenue to be made from local online news. We all know it comes from ads. But don't expect revenue to start gushing in from day 1.