In Oman we have four English dailies; when it comes to their online and mobile presence they seem to follow two very opposite approaches: on one side we have publications, like Times of Oman and the Oman Observer, who want to be everywhere, whether Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, mobile apps, etc., and on the other side publications, like Oman Tribune, who’d rather stay in the prehistoric ages.
So how are they doing online? How has the print media in Oman responded to ongoing technology changes when disseminating news? Are they searchable and findable? Are they creating interest and generating discussions as they should?
Let’s have a look at them:
Times of Oman dominates the online media industry. They do very well where it counts, website and Facebook. They also seem to get benefits from their QR codes which can be found for nearly every article and features. Simply, Times is the N.1 and credits for that, I believe, go to the recently appointed editor, Scott Armstrong, and his team who in less than a year changed everything (as also pointed out by MrSythe yesterday).
Website: the oldest English-language newspaper in Oman has a very good website with everything you would want from a newspaper. By far it’s the best print media website in Oman as it also shows by the high readers’ interaction. The website is also responsive to tablets and mobile phones. In Oman is the 6th most visited website.
Facebook: it’s one of the most interactive pages in Oman with more than 60K fans and average of 1,293 new likes per week. Very informative and most of their posts become real discussions panels. Considering the high number of fans the interaction is decent; 0.1908%. Overall the page is professionally managed with lots of shares and comments. Very well done, hats off to them.
Twitter: It reflects their website and Facebook in terms of content but unable to create the same interest.
Instagram: In Oman there’s currently an Instagram-mania where everyone has an account. While it can be really good at a personal level I have only seen a small bunch of companies utilizing it well. When it comes to Times of Oman they seem to use it mostly for showing general pictures of Oman by other photographers. It could well be a tactic to grow their fan base.
Whatsapp: Have not tried it but they have their own app which brings you a round of news once or twice a day, I believe.
Muscat Daily: they say Muscat Daily sells over 33,000 copies every day so you’d expect a big following on the various sites but it’s not like that. I like MD so hopefully with time and maybe a different approach they’ll get up there.
Website: it’s quite a recent site and a good one too but lacks interaction. In Oman is ranked 141st.
Facebook: the youngest daily in Oman joined Facebook in December 2012 and since then gathered 5,100+ fans, with an average of 56 new likes per week. Fans interaction rate is low, 0.0453%. Very little involvement by the fans.
Twitter: Only used to direct their followers (2,300+) to the website, and that might be the reason why MD is also on Tumblr and Delicious.
Oman Observer: they’re trying but they’re miles away from Times. They’re on most platforms but only seem to be doing well on Twitter. Maybe should concentrate on one, master it and then move to the next platform?
Website: good and informative but not as interactive and modern as Times. In Oman is the 87th most visited website.
Facebook: they joined Facebook just a month before Muscat Daily and as of today has just above 4,000, an average of 33 new likes per week and a fan interaction rate of 0.1431%. Definitely need to improve there.
Twitter: the Observer is the print media king of Twitter with more than 7,500 followers. Not sure how they capitalize on this though as there’s very little engagement from followers.
Instagram: they mainly repost other people’s photos, same strategy as Times.
whatsapp: They don’t seem to have an app to be downloaded, all you need to do is send a message to +96896473232 and every morning you’ll be greeted with the day’s top stories.
YouTube: They upload videos quite frequently, not sure it’s worth the effort though.
Oman Tribune: they need to come out of the Stone Age, it’s time. If anyone from Tribune is reading this, I doubt it, please get in touch and I’ll come and help, for free.
Website: it does its job, i.e. giving ‘some’ news. But that’s all. It is the 436th most visited site in Oman.
Social media...I won’t even go there, as there’s actually nothing there!