Communication Process – io9.Com “About Us”
The website in question is io9.com, a media and genre-based website that is part of the Kinja network (along with other popular websites like Gawker and Jezebel). It is a curated blog-type website whose business model is to create content for their audience, which is mostly concerned with science fiction and fantasy media (such as books, movies, comic books, video games, music, television, etc.). The sender of the content is io9 itself as an entity, headed by editor-in-chief Annalee Newitz, as well as managing editor Charlie Jane Anders. The perceived receiver of the content includes an audience of tech-savvy, genre fiction and sci-fi/fantasy fans
Integrated Business Communication Analysis
The integrated communication of the members involved is highly relegated around email and social media – each member of the io9 crew is given their own email address which is included on the About Us page, making that the primary means of communication between potential clients/customers/users and the staff of the website. Social media is another substantial component of their IBC, as io9 heavily uses their Facebook and Twitter pages for customer communication and in-staff communication as well. They also include an RSS ‘Excerpts Feed’ to allow people to receive their io9 blog feed in RSS readers, allowing for more convenient avenues by which to receive information provided by the site. However, the site’s primary feature for integrated communication is the comments section – this allows for instantaneous access to editors and staff through the posting of public comments. This then allows for these comments to turn into a conversation under each new io9 post, creating conversations that keep these pages in the public eye.
The media richness of the site’s About Us is comparatively low, given the email/social media/blog-centered focus of the media on the page. There is no interactive Skype or voice-call section on the page to allow more interactive, natural face-to-face interaction with the staff and writers, exclusive access being provided through emails and social media. That being said, the access to social media and blog comments sections allows for greater, faster access to staff and editors than through a mere email section. To that end, the media richness of the page is not great in and of itself, but the social media components and blog comments section allow for an interesting mediation between the stiffness and formality of emails and the informality and richness of casual VOIP or phone conversations.
Framing of the Message
The ‘message’ of io9 is simply and elegantly presented in a video that comprises the main portion of the About Us section of the site. There, managing editor Annalee Newitz talks through the mission of io9 as “a lifestyle magazine for the future,” combining science news with science-fiction entertainment news and analysis. Media clips of the site’s editors at work are presented, as well as mentions of io9 in other news media to lend it legitimacy. In this way, io9 purports to both provide the sense of escapism that comes from reading an entertainment news blog, and to help explore deeper issues of science and politics. In essence, the message provided in the About Us page is that io9 is a highly authoritative, well-regarded resource in both genre circles (clips of sci-fi shows that namedrop the site are shown) and in legitimate news (clips of editors being interviewed on television news and news magazines). The single sentence of text that is not the Boilerplate section reads, “io9 is a daily publication that covers science, culture, and the world of tomorrow.” The language and approach of this page cements the semi-serious, semi-irreverent attitude of io9 as a site, hoping to play both to serious news/insight and fun media reviews.
Identified Opinion Leaders
Given io9’s media and editorial-based business model, it can be argued that all of io9’s major contributors are opinion leaders. However, it is clear that the two editors (Charlie Jane Anders and Annalee Newitz), as the brand ambassadors for io9.com, are the major opinion leaders for the website.
Word Choice Recommendations
For the most part, io9’s overall use of words in their About Us copy (including the video) strikes a good balance between pointed and casual, inviting users in plain language to have breezy fun while offering pertinent science, technology and media news. The term “daily publication” lends legitimacy to the blog format, but is also somewhat inaccurate; perhaps “regularly-updating” publication would more accurately describe the fact that they post new information and articles several times a day. Their coverage of science-fiction as “the entertainment side of science” helps to allow io9 to take themselves seriously as a science publication, but also to justify their coverage of science fiction movie reviews and the like. To that end, there is little I would change about the About Us page, if only to include more of that copy and explanation of their mission as text on the site, instead of simply including it with the video.
About Us. (2014). Io9.com. Retrieved from http://io9.com/about-io9-452391760.