Something’s occurred to me: I bash the print Metro a lot but since I’m a caveman luddite I should probably take a passing look at what most of the normal up to date commuters might be looking at if they have nothing better to do on their train ride: the Metro’s web strand.
I don’t know why anyone would look at the Metro’s online strand at all, let alone on their commute. I don’t think anyone voluntarily reads the Metro in print form, just picks up because there’s nothing else to do while sat upright in a moving vehicle for 30 minutes to an hour. And if you have a tablet with internet access on the train, chances are you’d be doing anything other than thumbing through webpages from a news source designed to be barely read by people with only a vague interest in it because guess what? The internet contains everything in the whole wide world ever! And its on tablets now! ….so why are you reading this and not ANYTHING ELSE?
Yeah the Metro’s online strands serves basically no purpose, I’d wager I’m the first person to ever click on their address, I feel like an archaeologist venturing into uncharted territory here…yeah of course I’m kidding but if you do read the metro online, ask yourself: why? You’ve got thousands of other choices of what to look at on your commute. The Metro is made and printed for one specific purpose where its free and there is no other available media so you think “well why not? and skim over the headlines and first sentence, whereas here….you’ve got every piece of other available media ever on a tablet, why would you do that?
So what I’m gonna do is look at the top 5 trending articles over my lunch break and see if we can build a rough guide to what you’ll typically see on the Metro’s web strand and see if we can figure out what makes it stand out over say Buzzfeed, Yahoo news and so on and whether a digital commuter paper is a concept that doesn’t collapse in on itself and merge into a quantum singularity.
Trending Articles at 12:28pm on Friday the 28th of February
Yeah I think the purpose of this might be to gauge the sort of story they should pay the most attention to in the print edition the next day to see what their readers actually want to look at. Problem with that is the internet is kind of base in nature so if you do use it in that way, you’re basically picking up a channel 5 documentary in print at the station next day. EEEEERGH!! LOOK AT THIS GROSS FREAK!!! More on page 5!
I mean yahoo news and buzzfeed do similar stuff but since the Metro’s webstrand also do your bog standard internet tricks of eye catching words then maybe yeah its just another of those sites with shiny headlines you might click on. Is that a bad thing though because unlike print metro where a lot of the time interesting headlines are pot luck, here its at least eyebrow raising, its not boring. And yes you laugh at it, so trending articles of a base nature are a shortcut round the boring dross of the print edition. Despite the fact yes it sounds funny on the surface but if you actually look at this you might accidentally picture in your mind’s eye what this story is and its kind of….gross.
So yeah, the Metro’s online edition’s main appeal is exactly the same appeal as the rest of the internet: look at this slightly amusing news story for about five seconds, this headline has something weird in it, divert eyeballs here. I think the only tag for this article being “bizarre” definitely sums up the Metro online strand’s general appeal. There’s a student addicted to ketchup, that’s weird, goatsex, eeeergh!!! Gross!! Can you imagine?
Thing is though these stories don’t even have to be true, no one’s exactly going to phone the local authorities in Dutse to see if its true that some guy liked to have sex with goats. I think I’ve got the formula down now.
Divert your eyeballs here viewers!