Introducing Facebook to the newsroom

Where do you put a newsstand? Where the people are — a train station, outside a popular diner, at a busy pedestrian cross roads. Where do we put our online content? Usually, in one place, aggregated behind the newsroom’s homepage. The number of Facebook users is approaching 30 million, or one of every 10 Americans. Maybe it makes sense for every newsroom to open a newsstand where Facebook users are likely to see it. I’m meeting with some of our health and science staff on Monday to talk about ways we can use Facebook to interact with our audience. Here’s part of my memo:

Readers interested in health and science information — including those with careers or career aspirations in those fields – are already voracious consumers of digital information. The news and features from your department should be a significant draw to Facebook users who may not already know about our web site. We can use Facebook posts to call attention to our work.

A couple of days later, I added this:

An update. In the seven days between our first conversation about this and our meeting on Monday, Facebook added one million users. Anyone who wants to learn more may want to tune in to “Reliable Sources” on CNN this Sunday. Jeff Jarvis and others will be talking about Facebook, including strategies for mainstream media organizations.

Reuters recently ran a Facebook overview, including this:

Facebook has become the central way many users keep track of Web sites they use every day. More importantly, it’s a way to keep up with what friends are doing, says Chief Technology Officer Adam D’Angelo, a high school classmate of Zuckerberg.

The conversation is underway. To remain relevant, we have to make sure we are part of it.

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