I was up late so I switched on the new Australian bastion of Independent Journalism, The Global Mail (TGM).
The website only went live last night but after twenty minutes or so I felt I had a good enough grasp of their plans to share my thoughts. And all my thoughts were about sharing. Because that’s what we do.
During the next day, today, I have seen some nastier reviews of TGM. This kind of spontaneous chatter, the fleeting engagement that social media elevates into conversation is still worthwhile and I am confident the editors won’t see the negatives as carping but as people wanting to be proud of a standout moment in our media culture, to make a good thing great.
My email to the editor went something like this.
Thanks for launching your new venture – it has already kept me up past midnight so that can’t be a bad thing.
Having read a few articles, each of which I appreciated, I found myself wanting more, more links to topics raised, more options for looking at the source material and a chance to delve further into the life of the author. Sadly, none of these options are present on your site. My hopes were that TGM would bring a fresh new look to independent storytelling – which it does, I am enjoying the interface and typesetting – but also that it would nail the sharing mentality that is now spearheaded by social media. As for me and my generation, this is how we consume media; it is second nature to ping our friends as we read a story, to tweet a thought, to grab a quote (preferably out of context) or to drag a photo to show our followers.
I hope that your site is already aware of these trends and plans to roll out such solutions in coming weeks. It is, after all, our first night together and I realise it’s unfair expecting everything to be just right.
So, how about it? How about a Google+ button, hyperlinked issues within stories, article tags and photos that link to more photos from that event or photographer. Right now TGM feels to me like a broadsheet copied onto a website.
I look forward to seeing where else you take it – and where I can take it.