Welcome to volume 2 of our, What We’re Reading, blog post series. In case you missed our last post, this is a new series where we aim to share our favorite articles, posts, and reports, relevant to digital publishing, with our publishers, readers, and blog subscribers. As always, we love to hear your opinions about these articles and others that you are reading. So, be sure to share your thoughts in a comment below.
Last month, we asked readers and commenters to tell us why they subscribe to email newsletters. With more publishers investing in growing their email lists, we wanted to hear from you on where you stand. Specifically, we wanted to know if you currently subscribed to any email newsletters and if so, why. Today, we’re sharing the results of that research and summarizing what we learned from the feedback you provided.
At Disqus, we love to stay up to date with the latest news, events, and trends in the world of digital publishing. It helps us to understand the challenges that today’s publisher face and better support them with new tools and strategies. Team members across sales, customer success, product, marketing, and engineering regularly share their favorite stories. We even have an internal slack channel devoted to sharing the latest, most relevant, and most interesting articles that are impacting the digital publishing industry.
You don't have to go very far on most publisher sites these days before you're asked to subscribe to an email newsletter. Maybe you've noticed this already while reading your favorite food blog or catching up on the top stories from a local news site. You can even find an example right here on the Disqus Blog. Just scroll to the end of any article and you'll see a prompt appear inviting you to subscribe to our newsletter (please do if you like 😃).
You’re reading through your favorite site in the morning before starting your day. It's a normal part of your routine. You recognize the topics, content, articles and even the authors. But this time you see something new: a subscription prompt. It could be as simple as a kind request for you to support the site, maybe it's entirely optional, maybe it’s not. Or perhaps you’ve now been given 10 more articles to read free of charge, until being forced to pay or find a source of content.
Over the past year, the design team at Disqus has worked with product management and leadership make our product development process more open and inclusive. Myself, the Product Design Lead, along with the Design Team at Disqus successfully introduced design thinking practices, including user research and creative brainstorm sessions, across the company. At the heart of this work is the Product Discovery Sprint.
Earlier this year, we committed to fighting hate speech and began taking the first steps toward curbing toxicity on Disqus. As a Product Analyst, I focus on developing technology to facilitate good content. Our goals for this technology are to enhance community management tools for moderators, give users more power to address abuse and toxic comments within the communities they participate in, and improve the internal tools that our Abuse team uses for reviewing reported content that violates our Terms and Policies.
At Disqus, we are proud and humbled to boast an expansive network of users. Since writers and publishers are always striving to learn more about their audience, we thought it was a good idea to ask our users what they read, how they read it, and why. We also asked questions around reader-publisher engagement and what content they pay for. To answer these questions, we recently conducted a survey and in just one day, we got 973 responses! Here’s a summary of the most interesting findings from our research.
Quickly want to share that FiveThirtyEight is conducting a poll about why people comment (or not). Who better to answer that question than you!
My favorite bar in my old neighborhood used to have an Oscars night party. They’d print their own ballots and determine winners by the volume of cheering as each nominee was read aloud. That was fun but it was the discussion at my end of the bar that I enjoyed more. I could hear more and I learned more.