Friday, September 10, 2010

Good read: How Facebook redefined what we consider 'news'?

I've recently stumbled into a course syllabus on social media for journalists from the Columbia School of Journalism from Vadim Lavrusik's twitter feed.

From that long list, which I have yet to review, I recently read an article from Harvard's Nieman foundation on how Facebook had redefined what we consider as news. The article mentions:
Zuckerberg (Facebook's founder)... realized that Facebook wasn’t a tool for keeping track of news made somewhere else. It was a tool for making news right there, on Facebook.
And indeed it has been. All the status updates, relationship status, likes, dislikes, birthdays, events, which prior to Facebook's existence were treated as common information, has been later transformed into news available on your very limited network (aka your Facebook contacts).

Facebook had introduced us to news in a very local level, much like having your own media organisation, and through the system of subscriptions, likes and feeds, it redefined how we work on a social network - transforming it from a mere collection of  profile pages into an actual source of information.

Okay, I agree that facebook redefined what news now is - even someone putting as status message 'I'm eating a burger - in the era of facebook can be "news". But indeed, what makes something news doesn't necessary imply that it is newsworthy. And I think that has always been the role of media - to filter 'news' and come up with an outcome that will be deemed newsworthy.  And facebook's feed, despite the attempt to filter through the news-feed algorithm, has still a long way to go. And the filtering function is often limited - only allowing source filtering - (aka hiding your contacts) and I feel lacks filtering by topic (for example, I want to hide any updates with Justin Bieber).

But despite that, credit still goes to facebook - and indeed it revolutionised what we deem as news. But what we need now is a better news filtering system.

What do you think of Facebook? Did it really redefined what we consider as news? In which way? Comment!


Anonymous said...

oh hey kuya jerick!

i actually think that facebook is effective to know trends and stuff. that's just it. i look at the top news for the day and see what's going on. seemingly like an online ~beat haha

Jerick Parrone said...

Hey Barry!

Yup, indeed majority of it is about trends but a lot of it can be catered as newsworthy. I remember Facebook was just as updated as press sources re: the Ondoy floods. But indeed, marami talagang spam-like updates. :)

Anonymous said...

dropped by. :D
nice blogging, jerick. i'd say am an FB addict. lol