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Jan 15, 2009

CLIP Mainstream media finds its way through Facebook

Posted by Lauren Drablier on January 15, 2009 at 10:59 AM
The New York Times has partnered with Facebook following its success from its Election Day campaign and CNN's announcement that it will partner with Facebook for inauguration day.  The new partnership is designed to compile users comments to the question, "What should Barack Obama address first as President?"

facebook.jpgThe move highlights how the mainstream media is tapping into social networking both within their sites and through other social networking sites.  So far, over 35,000 comments have been received and the conversation will continue on inauguration day when the NYT asks "How will you remember today?"

Rory O'Connor, Fellow at the Shorenstein Center for the Press, Politics and Public Policyrecently interviewed Randi Zuckerberg, part of Facebook's creative marketing organization.

According to Zuckerberg, the concept behind Facebook that makes it attractive to the media is  "trusted referral."  This means that a friend, or someone that you trust, is referring content to you, therefore you trust it which makes you much more likely to engage with the content.

Zuckerberg stated: "We are beginning to see journalists and news/broadcast companies creating a significant presence on Facebook to engage with Facebook users and help facilitate this notion of the trusted referral to assist with the viral spread of content. When journalists can really engage with this audience and enlist Facebook users to market and share their content, that is such a powerful way to share credible news and information and tap into the implicit trust that people have with their friends."

Although many mainstream media companies remain "squeamish about posting their content on other sites", because, according to Zuckerberg, "their content is their lifeblood, it's all they have... why would they give it away for free on other sites?", many are starting to use social networking sites to spread their content.

Zuckerberg does not expect to see the end of expert journalism, she believes that "people will always want a trusted, expert opinion when it comes to news, politics, current events, and important topics."  But she believes that the location where people get their information will change because rather than navigating to another site, why not stay on a site such as Facebook where they can engage with friends and get the latest news and information that they trust.

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