USAToday.com took a step in “a” direction in the hopes of paving the way for traditional media to follow. But a closed network may not have been far enough…
Are they too early? No! Are they too late? No way! Could they do more? Yes…absolutely.
But, at this point, this is a promising glimpse of how all news will enable viewers to interact with reporters as well as other readers and peers inside USAToday.com.
This is where everything is going, and as far as we know, it’s only a stepping stone into a deeper, more extensive foray into the world of Social Media.
While many bloggers are calling it a Social Network, I don’t agree. If anything, USAToday has created platform for socializing news within its own domain.
The new site includes:
- Popular articles, as voted by the people
- Comments to every story
- The ability to recommend stories to others
- Provides readers with their own space and avatar
- Crowdsourced photos as part of its ShutterSpeed program
- Community center for seeing how others contribute to the conversation
- RSS feeds
- Blogs for readers to in turn share their take
This is a a tremendous step, which will force other traditional media companies to follow suit.
While most of USAToday’s readers will find this a bit daunting, others will embrace the evolution quickly, while helping others join into the conversation.
The key here is that it unlocks the world of Social Media to those who haven’t yet engaged. It’s an important step to get people introduced (and addicted) to a new way of reading, sharing, and voicing their opinions in a way that sparks further conversations.
2007 is the year of Social Media…and who knows, maybe we’ll all make Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” again.
Other great conversations, for those not following TechMeme, include:
Stowe Boyd – USAToday.com Goes Social, Sorta
TechCrunch – Bravo to USAToday
Hubbub – USAToday Gets Social
Steve Rubel – USAToday.com Refashions Itself as a Social Network
Mathew Ingram – Can a newspaper be a social network?
WebMetrics Guru – USAToday just became a social network
Deep Jive Interests- Are USAToday’s Changes About 5 Years Too Early?
John Dodge – Finds that 92% Don’t Like It. (My take, most people aren’t ready for change, but it’s an important evolution in where things are going. The trick is finding balance between the news and community.)
Joe Duck – Good for USAToday and Good for Us
Richard McManus – Should a newspaper be a social network?
Webware – Finding the Balance