By Steve Outing
Sticking to the topic of “micro-personal news” (see previous blog item), John Paul Titlow wrote me the following note which responds to my September Editor & Publisher Online column, “Newspapers First Need to Redefine ‘News’ to Move Forward Online.” He makes some good points worth sharing, so with his permission here it is:
“I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. I am a 25 year-old news junkie and Web content delivery manager for a weekly newspaper company in Philadelphia. Personally, I am able to consume most of my ‘news’ from the home screen of my iPhone.
“That includes the NYTimes and NPR apps for iPhone, a Digg app to see what the Digg community is pushing, CNN to tune into what’s considered ‘news’ by one of the big cable players, and Google Reader (any number of Web design & tech blogs, newspaper industry sites, Reuters, about 2 dozen other sites I read).
“But what I find myself tapping just as often as Google Reader or NYTimes are Twitter and Facebook. You’re right; it’s addictive. In a few seconds, I can see what friends are tweeting or posting as their ‘status’ on Facebook. It’s even called a ‘News Feed’ on Facebook.
“Before reading your column, however, I hadn’t thought of it that way — these status posts and tweets are just as much news to me as headlines about the Iraq war or tech news.
“Newspaper companies will have to find a way to leverage this. You correctly point out that the ‘open’ nature of (most) social networks and their API’s should help enable this. I would also add that recent moves towards a universal log-in (OpenID, etc.) should also make this vision of ‘news’ closer to a reality.
“Hopefully publishers will catch on before it’s too late.”