Social: Why speed cameras are more interesting than politicans


If the news agenda is to be believed this week, we’ve been talking about nothing but the general election in our day to day lives. Not for the first time, the stories getting reaction on social media from the local press perhaps challenge our sense of what readers want and expect.

But some good news (Holdthefrontpage commenters look away now!) One of the best-performing regional Press posts of the week was this one from The National – the pro-independence title based in Glasgow:

That’s essentially an advert appealing people to subscribe to the newspaper. Of course, clicking like, commenting or sharing is a long way from signing up, but in a world where it seems many like to flag up every problem facing the industry, let’s celebrate possible silver linings whenever we see them!

Away from that plug for the National, reaction to news of the general election was sparse. If you’re Vince Cable, you might be please that this post at your local newspaper was 39 times more popular than their regular postings:

While the sitting MP in Eastbourne might be a little worried that this post was 26 times more popular than the standard post at that title:

George Osborne may have failed to give his new title (The Evening Standard) the news he was standing down in time for the print edition, but it did well for his other local paper, the Knutsford Guardian (the one he told he was committed to serving Tatton just a few weeks ago):

Again, an ‘overperforming post’ based on historic metrics, but as all three posts show, the general election has yet to prompt mass reactions from readers generally. So what has? Well, lets talk about football!

This picture post on Facebook from the Brighton Argus celebrated the moment Brighton were promoted to the Premier League:

There were similar scenes in South Shields too:

And, indeed, in Portsmouth:

And Lincoln….

Oh, and Plymouth:

Another football story – but a very different one – stood out in the ‘over-performing’ category on CrowdTangle this week, and came from Burnley Express, which reported on Joey Barton, of Burnley FC these days, visiting a local hospice:

While in Sheffield, the presence of biker James Toseland on the annual bikers egg run was watched live on Facebook by thousands:

WalesOnline is already looking forward to the Lions rugby union tour later this year, and the social sell on this post made it one of the most-viewed across the regional Press this week:

In Bristol, and away from sport, it’s the birth of a special animal which set social networks alight this week:

In Belfast, the most talked about post involved men rowing – yes, rowing – through an airport:

So that’s football, rugby, motorbikes, animals and stag parties all seemingly more interesting to readers than the pending General Election. Could it get worse for those on the campaign trails? Er, yes:

This was one of the Birmingham Mail’s  most popular posts this week, and was 23x more popular than the page’s normal posts. When you’re less interesting to people than speed cameras, then surely politicians know they’ve got an uphill battle ahead….



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