Are we all becoming newsagents?

When launching Timeline in Sept, Mark Zuckerberg said “we have the ability not only to change the way we think about news but have the ability to change the way the whole news industry works” Pretty bold statement for a 27 year old, isn’t it? In fact, the reshape of the news industry has already kicked off… News is still put together but journalists and breaking news still distributed by major news organization and credible sources but the way we access and consume news content is shifting from reading the paper or watching the 6pm bulletin to discovering info from parallel publishing. 

Hal Crawford, head of news at Ninemsn predicts that by 2012, social media will represent 30% of Ninemsn news’ traffic referral, which would be as big as the homepage and much bigger than Search Engine Optimization (currently sitting at around 10%).

I have researched how a few 2010/2011 major stories were covered to demonstrate how much the news industry has changed and how great of an opportunity lies ahead:

 – 2011 Queensland floods:
News Digital integrated some interactive images to their coverage of the Queensland floods in January 2011.

This generated over 2,000 shares, much higher than traditional breaking news editorial.


Are you one of the 54,000 people who shared the below image or a frog riding a snake? Or may be one of the potential 7 millions who saw it appear in one of your Facebook’s friends feed?


– Sept 11, 10th  anniversary:
The New York Times (which has been ranked world most social brand in the NetProspex social business report) covered the 10th anniversary of Sept 11th by creating an interactive map where users could pin, share and express where they were on Sept 11th 2001.


 John Galliano’s racist rant:
If you missed this one, it is a good example of parallel publishing. This citizen journalism video was distributed through social channels before being picked up by news organizations and Dior’s house. In that case, the power of social cost Galliano his dream job and Dior a lot apologies…

 A few more crazy numbers to finish off: 


So are we all becoming newsagents, or are we killing the newsagents?

Marie Sornin




Timeline starts now!

Have you seen or played with the new Facebook Timeline? If you haven’t here is a sample.


Pretty different from your current Facebook profile, isn’t it? And it ironically looks like a iGoogle page, don’t you think?

Last week at the annual F8 conference in San Francisco, the Facebook team unveiled the major changes we had been hearing about for the last couple of months. It comes very timely with Google + threatening Facebook’s monopoly on social networking and also at a time when Facebook needs to develop a deeper level of engagement with its 750 million users. On this one we can say that Facebook is literally re inventing itself staying true to its mission statement: “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”. From now on, it’s all about discovering content from your friends.
 The Facebook wall is dead. Long live the Timeline.

I won’t go into too much details about how will use Timeline but in summary Mark Zuckerberg proudly presented it as “all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are” (You can watch the full video presentation below). What I want to focus on is what it means for advertisers and marketers. To me, there are a few changes that will get us to re think deeply the way we use Facebook for brands:

– Levels: multiple levels of importance and distribution is given to the users to publish their activity on Timeline, which of course impacts the time/ place their connections can access the information. That’s where it’s important for brands to understand where/ when/ how their info will be displayed. A Facebook strategy must be different for a financial institution, which sits it at one en of the privacy scale than with media & entertainment brands which are naturally social (and given priority in the release).

– Patterns and permission: Until now, things were relatively easy. On Facebook, you could pretty much Like & share, right? Well, from now on, users will be able to express real things like: read, watch, eat, run…. Facebook will give its users the opportunity to set the level of importance once for all for any interactions they have with brands. Facebook is then going to analyze patterns in the long run on what information to push to users…. Sounds a lot like the Google algorithm that spits out the most accurate search result!

– Cross platform: Facebooking will be seamless across web- mobile- tablet… opening up opportunities for real time interaction TV, radio & print!

Although the applications of the new Timeline and open graph are still very blurry, my initual thoughts revolve around the 3 points below:

– Social currency becomes more relevant than ever! 
– Think long term utility rather than campaign based promotion (eg: Netflix, Ticketek)
– Embrace transmedia story telling

Everyone is on the same boat waiting to get more details on the roll out, so please join in and share your thoughts and any information you have had access to so far!

 If you are interested in watching the full presentation, here it is:
 <div style=”font-size: 11px;padding-top:10px;text-align:center;width:560px”>f8live on Broadcast Live Free</div>

Marie Sornin