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Continuous News Brings Steady Stream of Visits

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Continuous news
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Continuous news is a media concept that also works well with any small business with an online presence.

It requires a steady stream of site updates. But search engines respond with a steady stream of visits because they rank active sites higher in search results.

The more frequent and consistent the activity, the better the rankings. Frequent and consistent updating isn’t the only factor that leads to better ranks. But it does have an impact.

Good journalism requires staff to cover mass murders, hurricanes, major riots and other major news events in the quickest, most efficient way possible. The process is educational about what it means to do continuous online news.

When a big story breaks, newspaper sites quickly get pounded with traffic. People have heard only headlines about the story on TV and radio. They want details, as many as they can get, and they want them immediately.

TV station sites are usually faster with updates but lighter on details. Newspapers are slower with updates but heavier on details. Both of these responses are typical for their respective cultures and approaches to online content management.

The best answer may lie somewhere between the two. Media executives these days often worry about being first online. But website managers usually find it rare for site visitors to complain that one media site is two minutes behind another one.

From these experiences, some online journalists have come to believe that two paragraphs after 10 minutes, two more in another 10 minutes and two more again is superior to waiting 30 minutes for all six paragraphs or getting one sentence within a minute or two.

So a realistic approach to continuous online news during a major event is for site managers to treat it like a blog.

Websites that aren’t in the media business may find it more difficult to replicate what media sites do. But they can strive to update for frequently and more consistently.

How to Implement Continuous News

The process for implementing continuous news is simple. First, write two to three paragraphs from a single source. Edit, post and include a timestamp.

Do another post from a second source or with new details from the first.

Some sites rewrite the original post with the new details. Others don’t mash the second post with the first one. Rewriting the two posts into one will take invaluable time. The rewrite comes later and appears as a separate story from the news posts.

As a third option, put the rewrite  above the first on the same file. Separate the two with a headline and/or timestamp so that readers see it’s a new update and don’t end up rereading what they read before.

At this point during the coverage, site visitors are going to 10 or 20 different websites to get as much detail as possible. They want to know what’s new. Many will already have read the first post.

By the time the first rush has quieted down, visitors will see the result of aggressive coverage.

They will get speed, accuracy and quality. They will get the best of both TV journalism and newspaper journalism.

How Small Business Can Do the Same

A small business that is not part of the media section can use the same concept. The site manager simply doesn’t have to post updates as quickly as media.

For example, the business is opening a new and much larger store three months from now. The site manager (or business owner) posts a first announcement about the store opening. Then on the same file, he or she posts a series of updates about the timing of the opening, new products or services that the larger store will offer, new hires for the store, etc.

These updates also can go on the store’s social media accounts either manually or automatically. The automatic posts to social media are available to any business that uses a content management system with automated social postings, such as a WordPress plugin.

Content management using continuous online news is not a print style or a broadcast style.

It is its own style that potentially provides streaming and aggregated text, photos, graphics, comments, audio and video into a unique comprehensive whole.

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