Posts Tagged ‘yahoo news’

Yahoo News Brings Back Commenting After 3-Year Break

March 3rd, 2010

The king of news sites in the U.S., Yahoo News, is finally bringing back commenting on news stories. According to PaidContent, commenting and voting features were added quietly on Monday.

To be clear: Commenting is not a new feature. But the fact Yahoo News has existed as a top player in the online news biz without any interaction or input from its audience is surprising in a world where words like “social media” and “user engagement” are dropped endlessly in executive board rooms.

The commenting system on Yahoo has been suspended for three years. The newly implemented user engagement platform now allows visitors to comment, respond to comments left by others and vote comments up or down based on quality or relevance.

So why did it take three years? Mark Waller, head of Yahoo News in North America told Paid Content comments were shut down in 2006 because of poor quality of discussion. “The feeling as I understand it was that it was degrading the quality of the site rather than enhancing it,” he said.

Today’s commenting system is far more sophisticated, as the company uses seven levels of “technical comment moderation” to filter comment streams in order to help the good stuff float to the top.

Yahoo News re-implemented comments, Walker said, because Yahoo News readers were demanding it.

“We sort of looked at our customer satisfaction research and some of the feedback from the audience was that the right to comment was sort of an extension of their first amendment rights,” he told Paid Content. “There was a very strong desire from the audience—which is an engaged audience which has something to say—to interact with the news site at a much more profound level.”

The comment system also seems to be working; at time of writing, the most-viewed story was “Authorities bust 3 in infection of 13M computers” which had received 1091 comments.

Yahoo News developing politics, opinion site similar to Huffington Post

December 24th, 2009

According to a recent posting on Yahoo’s job board, the company is looking for an Editor-in-Chief to oversee a new opinion and politics section. The new section appears to be geared toward people who favour sites such as the Huffington Post.

The news editor will be tasked with building a network of freelance writers and bloggers who will write opinion and analysis articles, as well as blog posts. Yahoo says its goal is to make its news site deeper and richer with content that will “complement” breaking news from AP and Reuters. For those who follow news, it’s perhaps no surprise the highly-trafficked Yahoo News site is looking to broaden its reach into new media, as sites like the Huffington Post have shown a growing reader appetite for opinion pieces and political news.

The Huffington Post has also attracted a great deal of attention from advertisers, something all media executives have noticed. According to comScore numbers, Yahoo News attracted 138 million unique visitors worldwide in November 2009 – more uniques than Google News, CNN or the New York Times.

In the U.S., Yahoo News attracted nearly 39 million unique visitors in November 2009, while the Huffington Post pulled in about 9 million uniques. The Huffington Post has grown 27 percent year-over-year, while Yahoo News’ growth was relatively flat over the same period.

According to MediaPost, Growth at Yahoo News, the No. 1 site on the list, was flat at 38.7 million uniques. CNN Digital Network had the highest average of sessions per person at 7.3 in November, while the Huffington Post increased its traffic in November 2009, up 27% to 8.9 million year-over-year. Yahoo News hopes to tap into that growing population that craves politics and opinion.

The company is looking for someone in Washington, D.C. who has with seven to 10 years experience at a newspaper, magazine, wire service or online news site. Election experience is a must, and the editor will be asked to make appearances on shows such as Meet the Press and This Week.

Yahoo News says the editor of its new politics and opinion section will play a vital role going into election coverage in future years.