Matthew Buckland's speech to Ifra's Beyond the Printed Word conference


At Ifra‘s Beyond the Printed Word conference in Dublin, Matthew Buckland, general manager of the Mail & Guardian Online of South Africa, has given a presentation about ‘Integrating Web 2.0 tools into news sites.’ He previously in his own blog described his presentation and offered the presentation itself available for download.

Since you can download and see his slide presentation, I’ll mention a few points from how he narrated it:

‘Web 2.0’ tools have let the Mail & Guardian Online build user-generated content sites quickly and in collaboration with consumers. The tools harness the newspaper professional content and user-generated content. And have allowed the newspaper to get closer to its community.

The Mail & Guardian has chosen a ‘multi-brand’ approach. It has created, an aggregator of regional South African blogs.;; a site that combines the newspaper own content and the best content from South African bloggers;, a title that describe the site; and also applications that consumers can use on All of these were created using WordPress software (in case you were wondering which ‘Web 2.0’ tools). Buckland mentioned that consumers tend to write better if they know someone will be editing their work.

In three months time, these sites have generated 700,000 words from 100 contributors and also 3,000 reader comments, content that costs the Mail & Guardian nothing to generate.

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