By now almost everyone who needs to know – and probably many who didn’t need to but you know how Dubai is – knows that Lovin Dubai, that churner of sometimes great, sometimes meh content, has bought the social media profiles of the no-longer-operating 7Days newspaper and portal.
Lovin Dubai (LD from here on in this post) already has a decent following network, racking up thousands of fans across their various platforms, and 7Days itself boasted almost 2 decades worth of supporters in print, social and other digital channels.
It made perfect marketing sense for LD – or any company but LD got there first – to buy the immense network of followers 7Days commands. Organic, real and relevant to the ‘community news’ style of reporting 7Days excelled at and which LD really caters to on a more superficial level, it is a match made in marketing heaven.
Except, this now poses a new challenge for LD.
First off, when you buy a channel from an existing party, you’re essentially buying their follower base. It isn’t necessary that the members of that base will like this. They followed 7Days, and there was a reason they did. 7Days in this case did not engage in clickbait, or click-pulling headlines or the like. Their primary business was news, and this was evident in their social copy as well.
Members who were used to seeing this will now see the kind of content LD does which while clickbait-y, isn’t necessarily bad. Like I said earlier, LD creates content across the spectrum of likeability. Some outrage us for tricking us into clicking, some we like because they have the occasional great content which we always desire about Dubai.
What’s bad is the members not seeing it that way. The reason is simple: 7Days didn’t rehash existing content or ‘borrow’ it from existing platforms (reddit, others) without referencing original creators. 7Days re-wrote them entirely where needed and if created from someone else’s content – which was rare – they’d still credit that creator.
What LD does is the opposite of what 7Days does. And while in some cases this is acceptable given the nature of internet-based content aggregation today, it is unacceptable when content is stolen and passed off as one’s own. Over time LD has improved in this case. It has begun referencing and crediting creators from other platforms where they get their content or inspiration from.
It has also improved in the quality of its English grammar, spelling and editing over time but has a ways to go. This is not a dig at them, this is blunt feedback which I hope will be well received as all this is coming out of a place of hoping they succeed with integrity ONLY because they now own the followers of one of the best publications to ever come out of the Middle East.
And given that recently a few ex-employees of 7Days have joined LD’s team I truly hope their journalistic excellence shines in LD too.
You win at the marketing game, LD. This was a smart, strategic and profitable move. Now do treat us 7Days long-term fans with the same respect its editorial board did.