Engadget officially launched its UK website today, in a bid to improve the experience for the technology news site's second largest audience, without affecting its delivery of content for US readers.
According to owner AOL, the most recent figures from comScore showed UK monthly unique views of 468,000. To respond to this, and the growth in "technological innovation" in the UK, the news site was keen to set up a UK version which would offer content with a British audience in mind.
Engadget already had a team of five staff in the UK, two of which are now focused on the UK edition, while the other three – along with one person based in France – will continue to largely produce content for the main US site.
The two journalists running the UK site are Matt Brian, news editor, and Jamie Rigg, reviews editor. Brian told Journalism.co.uk that UK-related news had previously needed to be covered in a way that would have been relevant for a more global, and US-focused, audience.
With the new site, UK audiences will now be given focused editorial about "UK companies doing great things", companies which previously would not have received "as much airtime" to avoid "making it boring for US readers", Brian explained.
The company has already launched other country-specific editions in Germany, Spain, Japan and China, with teams also established in each area. And Brian said "there's scope to expand" the UK team, "relatively soon".
With a number of country-specific sites, communication between the editors located across the world is very important, particularly to ensure no stories are missed across time zones, and to ensure awareness of any crossover on stories of interest to more than one audience.
Brian explained that Engadget uses email lists to communicate with other teams, and also has a "central platform we all use to chat to each other", which operates "like a big chatroom", with different rooms around different discussions, including a "main room every editor is expected to be in at all times".
On the advertising side, Brian said having a UK edition will also mean a better advertising experience for readers, in terms of the relevance of the advertising featured.
"We're not going to be bamboozling you with things you've never heard of", he explained.
Beyond standard text articles
There are also plans to deliver more multimedia reporting on the site, from its existing podcasting activities to the production of "a lot more video content".
Engadget is also working on tools which offer readers coverage beyond standard text article formats, such as its Engadget Mini platform, and are considering ways to bring together content being posted onto social media platforms, such as when covering events.
Looking ahead, and the team will be measuring the success of the UK site not just by referring to traffic statistics shared by AOL and Engadget, but importantly, by putting a focus on engagement."I want to see people sharing things with mum and dad because we've explained this in such an easy way"Matt Brian, Engadget
In particular, Brian said he wants the site's content to also move "outside of the wider tech circle", with people sharing it on their social networks with their family, for example.
"I want to see people sharing things with mum and dad because we've explained this in such an easy way," he said, adding that if they put effort into engaging with the online community, "the rest of the metrics will follow".
Developments with the UK site are ongoing, such as plans to introduce UK timestamps when a story is published, instead of showing Eastern Time, as it stands.
Such changes will "make it a bit more homely for our UK readers", Brian explained.
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