A scientific approach is always needed. How they will figure out how to avoid cannibalization will be interesting.
News organizations are getting more scientific about studying the value of the online readers they are hooking through social media services like Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc., as they seek new ways to exploit the channels without cannibalizing their businesses.
The efforts come as publications are reporting surging traffic from social media, as they rush to load up their sites with new tools that encourage readers to share their content among friends on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Google and others.
Forty-two percent of social-networking users regularly or sometimes get their news through social-networking sites, according to a report released this week by the Pew Media Center. That is leaving some publishers with the sense that they are better off trying to reach users where they are congregating than trying to corral them on their site.