The Larger Meaning of CNN.com / Facebook Collaboration

I sometimes ruminate over new concepts for 24 hours to figure out their implications rather than jot down a quick “yowza” blog post. CNN.com and Facebook’s integrated coverage of the Obama Inaugural yesterday was striking because it was the first time I saw all my Facebook friends come to life in a unified, mostly coherent conversation.

In social network applications like Twitter, Friendfeed and Facebook, conversations are siloed. I don’t feel a part of the ecosystem until somebody or I start a conversation. An event like the Inauguration lays down a contextual foundation for the conversation so everybody feels involved. It’s the reason why we go to live sporting or concert events – Facebook provided a proxy for “being there” by gathering all the people I know (at least on Facebook) in one room.

This is one of the powerful applications of Facebook Connect that will surely be used in connection with other events, live or programmed (as in movie watching), to provide the same social experience by proxy. Yes, the conversations may be boring or obnoxious, but that’s like any other cocktail party. I think this is addictive.

About Pat Kitano

Patrick Kitano works with brands in developing hyperlocal engagement solutions and is administrator of the Breaking News Network, a national hyperlocal network devoted to community service. He is the author of The Local Network on Street Fight, and is reachable via Twitter @pkitano and email pkitano@gmail.com.

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