Monday, 17 September 2007

Read content from's rivals on

The Press Gazette reports that "As part of the Handbag relaunch, the company will introduce MyHandbag, allowing the audience to build their own corner of the web around the parent brand. “It’s basically like MyYahoo,” says [editorial director Debbie] Djordjevic, “in that people will be allowed to enter their own RSS feeds. They will be able to include content from our competitors – we welcome that – and they will be able to bookmark things and create their own blogs.”

Brilliant stuff.

This underlines one of the biggest mindshifts for editors and journalists migrating from print to an online or integrated environment.

In the world of magazines, there were thee key tools in the fight against your competitors:

  1. To diss them every now and then (a risky strategy)
  2. To ignore them - never mention them in the hope that readers would get the message that they were beneath contempt and eventually forget them.
  3. To play down (or ignore) the news that your competitor played up, or had scooped you with.

Online the situation is very different - while brand loyalty and familiarity undoubtedly have their place, it is much easier for users to stumble across the competition and woe betide you if they find something there that you haven't told them about, especially in the B2B world.

Anyway, I love Handbag's idea, although I would love to see our own titles to take it a step further: Why make the user do the work by adding their own RSS feeds? Why not (also?) publish the RSS headlines of our rivals?

Then the everyday user (the ones who don't have personalised pages or Google Reader) would know they could come to our sites and be able to browse absolutely everything from there.

It would keep the journalists on their toes, too (not that I'm suggesting our journalists aren't already on their toes, of course; indeed, I'm sure most of them are practically en pointe).


chris said...

Hi sir,

We have recently launched a three blog { | |} and we are looking to spread the word and get in contact with similar websites to ours to promote relevant blogs and websites.

Would you like to exchange a link between us? I will add you blog on my link section

Please email me at


Andrew Orange said...

Oh, yes, of course. This blog is all about handbags, after all.