400 of My Most Intimate Friends

crowd.jpgOver on the SEW blog, Greg posts about how a small newspaper in Scotland set up a MySpace page and in short order had 400 online “friends.”

He quotes a staffer at the paper who says, “It’s a totally untapped market for local papers, and it opens up new lines of communication,” especially among younger readers.”

Not so fast.

The Fife Herald’s friends are young alright (or so their photos depict them). But I’m not seeing much effort on the paper’s part — beyond the fact that the page is there — to engage, attract, or involve these friends in anything. The blog is only sporadically updated and also doesn’t seem to be about much of anything, really, other than media coverage centered around the fact the paper has a MySpace page.

Big whoop.

And you kind of have to notice the irony in the fact the paper’s profile specifies “I don’t want kids.”

Perfect example of no-strategy, follow-the-herd marketing.

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