Communication effectiveness is crucial in the modern world, where a broad range of information is available online. Websites use various persuasive and influential strategies to attract their readers and encourage them to stay. Indeed, each material a resource publishes needs to address the primary audience’s interests and characteristics such as socioeconomic status, educational level, and familiarity with the main subject. The topics’ selection, language, style of the published articles depend on the potential reader’s portrait, therefore two websites can interpret the same information differently. The demand in addressing the audience’s needs and preferences can be analyzed by interpreting similar subjects by different sources. For example, TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review are websites that publish tech-related news in a nonidentical manner.
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TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review: Audiences’ Comparison
Websites divide their audience into the primary – the readers for whom the content is being published, and secondary – people who might occasionally consume the information. The former segment is vital to consider while publishing the news, thus both TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review address the aims of their regular viewers. TechCrunch’s audience looks for updates about business because its major part contains entrepreneurs interested in building tech companies. MIT Technology Review’s readers are more involved in the invention processes, and they aim to discover how technologies are being developed. While the subject matter unites both sources, MIT’s audience possesses the knowledge of how to create innovations. Yet, TechCrunch is more experienced in making a profit from implementing novelties into people’s lives.
The analyzed websites’ primary audience is men and women of age older than 30 years old, representing the middle or higher socioeconomic class, most likely to have a bachelor’s degree. Both sources are located in the United States, but they perform online, thus the readers’ locations and cultural backgrounds might vary. TechCrunch’s primary audience is involved in entrepreneurship and venture funding, and the Technology Review’s readers work in the scientific and analytical sectors. Secondary viewers of the sources are the students of digital business and innovations or individuals interested in specific topics like startups for TechCrunch and Artificial Intelligence development for MIT Technology Review.
Persuasive Strategies Based on the Audiences
TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review are the well-known and trusted sources of tech-related news, and their authority persuades the readers to stay. Besides, TechCrunch applies the strategy of providing exclusive information by including the newsmakers’ comments and using words “breaking” or “has just released”. MIT Tech.”logy Review’s persuasion is applied through mentioning the authoritative scientists in their materials, and including detailed explanation of issued topics. Both sources use claims for sharing the news, and there are no statements applied without arguments or evidence. TechCrunch articles’ authors connect with the audience by directly appealing to their thoughts and experiences regarding a topic. In contrast, Technology Review avoids the connection and instead provides objective scientific evidence about a subject.
The Articles’ Structure
To analyze how TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review are different in language and style, the two articles about the same topic, Facebook’s data breach scandal in 2018, were retrieved from the websites. In TechCrunch’s “Facebook admits Cambridge Analytica hijacked data on up to 87M users,” authors use technical terms like “data privacy” or “apps,” which are understandable to its primary and secondary audiences (Constine & Hatmaker, 2018). Contrariwise, Technology Review’s “Facebook may stop the data leaks, but it’s too late: Cambridge Analytica’s models live on” article is written in technical language with phrases “purloined data” and “proxy profile” (Metcalf, 2018). The abbreviation “API” was utilized in both websites’ texts without decryption, and it can be considered jargon for people familiar with the technology.
In the analyzed articles, the average sentence length is 23 words for TechCrunch and 29 words for MIT Technology Review. The formers’ paragraphs are longer with word count varying from 85 to 120, and the latter website’s content is divided into shorter, 70-90-word blocks. TechCrunch does not divide its materials into subtopics, while most of the MIT Technology Review articles’ contents are separated with subheadings. These facts reveal that the narrow specialized audience requires the information to be well-structured and more detailed than for the readers of non-technical resources. Consequently, TechCrunch utilizes a more informative style in their articles, includes authors’ observations and direct appeals to the audience. In contrast, MIT Technology Review’s texts are formal and perceived rather as peer-reviewed materials than the news.
Advertising and Visuals
Advertising is the fundamental source of monetization for online publishers, thus both TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review include ad blocks to their pages and post sponsored articles. The latter’s banners promote Harvard-based conferences, revealing that the audience is interested in academic science. TechCrunch advertises devices like new Samsung smartphones because the audience can afford such novelties and interested in buying them. Advertising is placed aside from the articles, which also contain visuals such as illustrations and statistics visualization. MIT Technology Review applies stock photos frequently, and TechCrunch has custom-designed images. Both websites’ audience requires confirmations for the information they read, therefore graphs and figures are used in most articles.
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How websites provide information on a specific topic is contingent on the audience they want to reach. The comparison of TechCrunch and MIT Technology Review, resources with a similar subject, revealed that the same matter could be interpreted differently. Indeed, perspectives depend on the readers’ specializations; the language must be understandable and based on the level of the audience’s knowledge of a topic, visual and advertising sectors need to consider their preferences.
Constine, J. & Hatmaker, T. (2018). Facebook admits Cambridge Analytica hijacked data on up to 87M users. TechCrunch. Web.
Metcalf, J. (2018). Facebook may stop the data leaks, but it’s too late: Cambridge Analytica’s models live on. MIT Technology Review. Web.