FT.com web strategy – assuming the site isn’t down

Ien Cheng, publisher and managing editor, reveals in today’s Guardian that publishers should act more like tech firms than publishers.
Not sure what that means when the FT.com site doesn’t load and returns a ‘Cannot find server’ in the browser (as of 10.35am this morning).

Blips aside, Cheng appears to be working wonders by focusing on three strands (or ‘prongs’ if you’re Jemima Kiss). These include new products, subscription models and internal production. It seems to be working – a 33 per cent rise in users from last year to 7.1 million uniques a month.

The report also details strong growth in online advertising (40 per cent – helped by highly targeted ads) and an 11 per cent growth in online subscriptions (over 10,000 users are signing up each week). Hats off to web agency Avenue A Razorfish?

The nod to new products suggests that the FT.com – like the Telegraph and, more recently the Daily Mirror – could benefit from an internal web development team.

He also shrugs off any threat from Google and their strength in the new, more open marketplace. But I’ve always believed that specialist publishers, including the ‘niche’ business audiences of the FT and WSJ, were relatively safe from the advertising giant. More so than the Mirror or the Sun.

Impressive stuff nonetheless.

5 thoughts on “FT.com web strategy – assuming the site isn’t down

  1. Tom Glover

    On behalf of the FT, I’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers this morning. Due to a fault at our third-party hosting provider (affecting multiple customers), FT.com was only intermittently available during a period of around 90 minutes. Service is now back to normal.

  2. Tom Glover

    On behalf of the FT, Iā€™d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers this morning. Due to a fault at our third-party hosting provider (affecting multiple customers), FT.com was only intermittently available during a period of around 90 minutes. Service is now back to normal.

  3. kenobi

    Thanks for the post Tom. It’s encouraging that the FT’s senior communications manager searches for FT namechecks on blogs.

  4. Dan

    Update: Ian Cheng left the FT to join Google a short while after this post. Draw your own conclusions… šŸ™‚

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