Never enough Gaga: Canada.com launches Topics Pages
The Canwest-owned portal will aggregate top trending stories and user commentary in a series of Topics Pages, in a strategy Canwest's Ray Philipose calls a 'managed' way to go social.
Canada.com wants to satisfy readers’ addictions to Twitter-style trending topics with a new web strategy that aggregates all the stories on a particular topic on a dedicated page and allows for moderated social media participation.
Yesterday, for those who couldn’t get enough of the Queen’s visit to Ontario, Canada.com developed what is essentially a microsite featuring all the stories on the topic from Canwest websites, a poll for readers to vote on the role of monarchy in Canada and a section devoted to comments and tweets from readers. Other featured topics include Lady Gaga’s latest milestone, and the latest interviews related to The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.
The ‘featured topics’ are promoted in a clickable box on the Canada.com homepage, which is sponsorable, explains Ray Philipose, VP, strategy & product development, Canwest Digital Media. The topics themselves can be also sponsored by brands, as can channels or sub-channels (parenting, for instance) related to the topics.
‘The topic sponsorship allows for branding and it allows for ownership of all display media as well as integration of our push-down expandable rich media,’ Philipose tells MiC.
Philipose sees the changes as the first step in the rebranding of Canada.com, which has also added celebrity bloggers like chef Jamie Kennedy and news commentator Paul Jay of The Real News Network.
‘It’s our ambition to reflect the national conversation and we’re going to be shifting our emphasis from headlines to topics,’ Philipose says. ‘A lot of advertisers are interested in associating their brands with the right social media initiatives. The concern is that social media tends to be unmanaged and brands are at risk if they associate themselves in an unmanaged environment. This is a managed social experience.’
Canada.com, which is owned by Canwest, has started a marketing campaign to promote the changes, and it includes display ads on affiliated online properties, as well as a Facebook promotion. In May, the Canada.com network received over 7 million unique visitors in total, according to Comscore.