Economist.com, the website for the 168-year old media brand, continues to develop content that is distinct from the print version.
Roughly 40% of the content on Economist.com is produced solely for the website, said Nick Blunden, publisher. "We've differentiated our audience as 'ideas people' who are intellectually curious, and that also resonates well online," he said.
In the last 18 months, the site has added several new features that run exclusively online. These include By Invitation, which allows select experts to act as guest commentators on the site, and Ideas Arena, a month-long dive into a topic that includes videos, debates, a polling feature for readers and links to live chats with the editors of special reports. A conversation cloud allows readers to track the most popular stories.
In July 2010, the website debuted a redesign of the home page that led to a significant boost in traffic, Blunden said. In the first quarter, the average number of unique monthly visitors grew to 5.9 million, up 25% from the same period in 2010. "The redevelopment was very audience driven," Blunden said. "We've invested more in the user experience, and put the user at the center of what we're trying to achieve."
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