Friday, July 23, 2010

Washington Post Fronts Facebook Article for 17th Time

I got nervous earlier this week when Facebook started getting lots of free press by announcing that they had passed 500 million users (there was even pre-hype! months ago!). Then I was excited for the Washington Post because the milestone passed and there was no front-page article, just a few mentions online and a brief in print.

Little did I realize that being a few days late on the peg won't stop the Post. Today we got the A1 "Status symbol: Look at Facebook now" (sub-head: All the kids are doing it. Just about everyone is, in fact. But is it really an antisocial network?"). We should have seen this coming.

The article is the Post's 17th front-pager on Facebook.

The story, by the Style section's Monica Hesse, is about... I don't know. How Facebook has evolved in American culture and perhaps weakened our real friendships? See what you think.

I thought it did have a few enjoyable notes, such as:
Is this site enriching our relationships, or is it making us too lazy to check in with people in person anymore? Have we sustained ourselves on a friend diet of bread crumbs for so long that we no longer want sandwiches?
Certainly a good question -- but it's one people have been exploring for years now.

And that's the problem with the article. It looks at issues that deserve exploration, but just doesn't add that much new. It doesn't belong on the front page.

Here's the updated list of the Post's front pagers on Facebook:
Sept 2006, Oct 2006, Feb 2007, Nov 2007, March 2008, April 2008, May 2008, June 2008, July 2008, Sept 2008, March 2009, April 2009, Aug 2009, Aug 2009, Oct 2009, May 2010, July 2010.


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