Adam Sherk ran a list of major media outlets through the API of engagement analytics company Postrank and found out. Postrank looks at any RSS feed and analyzes the items in it based on number of comments left, number of mentions on Twitter, bookmarks in Delicious, votes on Digg, inbound links from blogs and other social media metrics.Mainstream media in a social media world - who gets it? Who gets the love from readers and Tweeters, Facebookers and Diggers? Social media consultant
Postrank co-founder Ilya Grigorik added another metric to Sherk's analysis: engagement per unique visitor. Can you guess which major media outlet scored the highest? It was the Guardian, in the UK. Next in line for most engagement per unique visitor were Slate, The New York Times, the BBC and The Economist. See below for a chart displaying the top 30.
You can see the raw data on this Google Spreadsheet. What do you think helps these leading sites rise to the top and transition so effectively to a social media world?
Note: A question has been raised in comments about MSNBC's numbers, because of the way its traffic resolves to an MSN.com domain. Short of recalculating, we'll suggest readers take into account that the organization's unique visitors per month may be substantially undercounted.
Is experimentation with social media by a media organization itself a factor in how much its content gets shared? The Guardian has what's arguably the media world's best iPhone app. Or is it most important to simply produce great content? Clearly social media traction per visitor doesn't lead directly to business success - Newsweek is beating out MSNBC and Forbes in this chart, but it was recently bought for $1! Does social media traction matter, from a business perspective?
This kind of an analysis is interesting to see run on big, general interest publications - but it can also be applied on very niche topics. See our new series The Top 10 Buzziest Blogs in Geolocation This Week, for example. I don't know how many of those could sell for more than the price of Newsweek - but they make great reading and knowing the top sites in that field offers all kinds of other types of business and technical value.