Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » How do you handle the brave new world of digital intimacy?


I admire those who somehow find time to go back to school while working full time. I'm racing each week just to keep up with the work from the Knight Digital Media Center program I blogged about recently.

In my previous post on the subject, we had a lively discussion about social networking on a news site. I hope you'll continue to participate in the class. Here are this week's assignments and my brief comments:

-- 50 Ways to use Social Media, listed by Objective

I'm pleased we already are doing many of the items on this list. I'll have to dig more into some other suggestions such as Website Grader. I had the site rate and was pleased to find we received an A. I'd like to see us do better yet about building sites around communities of shared interest.

-- Brave New World of Digital Intimacy

This is an excellent look at how News Feed transformed a social networking site. How can our site better integrate with Facebook status updates? The challenge would be to allow individual users to set their connections however they like, as Facebook does.

I had never considered the concept of ambient awareness on Twitter. I'm not sure I want to distantly read everyone's mind. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a Victoria woman who briefly tried Twitter. She said she was shocked when so many people started following her and quickly fled in fear. From an older generation, she didn't understand why anyone who would want to share so much private information. "I don't want to be Twittered!" she declared.

What's your Dunbar number? Mine is 343 (144 Facebook friends + 199 on Twitter), but close friends and family probably number closer to 20.

This is a fascinating article in many respects. Let me know what you think after reading it.

-- Twitter Wrote This Column For Me

I'm in the camp of those who think Oprah joining Twitter signals the beginning of the end for this social networking fad. I still see tremendous opportunities for news organizations using Twitter, but I wonder how far this will go.

-- Twitter Journalism

I see Twitter as a way to expand a journalist's toolbox. However, I am wary of the hype. This article leads breathlessly with the Tweeted photo from the Hudson plane crash. It's as if we have no collective memory of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo shot by a civilian after the OKC bombing. At community papers, we've long relied on readers to supply content.

The Twitter founder's notion of a credibility algorithm is an attractive notion, but can you really engineer trust?

-- Facebook Journalism

I want to learn more about Facebook Connect and how it might be used on What are your thoughts on this product?

As for the Facebook's comments about the "trusted referral," I hope that's already the strength of a community newspaper. I'm not sure metro newspapers can create personal trust via Facebook.

-- Still Don’t Get Twitter? Maybe This Will Help

This is an example of when a question headline doesn't work. Have I mentioned I'm sick of the Twhype?

-- In Your Facebook

This article is only a year old, but it feels so dated. Sure, we have to understand where our audience is. However, here's the billion-dollar question: Where is our audience going? Will there even be a Facebook in five years?

So, that's my reading for this week. I appreciate your feedback as I work through these thoughts.

Until next time, keep up with me on Twitter (my teacher will be so proud):