By: David Kaplan | PaidContent.org
When the New York Times first began talking about creating a metered paywall for its website last year, the company was quick to note that social media links would be exempt in order to keep the traffic flowing. Hoping to get a better sense of who shares links and why, the NYT commissioned a study that breaks down the types of people who share links and offered an overview of some recent marketing campaigns that appeared to hit the “buzz” mark. The one big surprise—at least for those fully immersed in the worlds of Twitter, Facebook and now Google+—is that e-mail is still the most popular sharing tool.
In an online survey of 2,500 self-identified “medium-to-heavy content sharers,” Latitude Research and the NYT found that users generally fall into six “personas”: altruists (mostly female, attached to causes), careerists (it’s all about the job), hipsters (younger altruists and careerists), boomerangs (people who share simply to stir up controversy), connectors and selectives (related to careerists and altruists, respectively).