Sunday, December 12, 2010

What's old is new again: a Facebook 'newspaper'

World events stored in my basement.
(photo by me)

I'm more of an ink-on-dead-trees reader than a digital one: I like the feel and smell of newspapers; to study the typography and photos and story placement; to peruse the display ads as well as the bylines. I'll read the New York Times or Washington Post online, but I'm happier feasting on their printed editions.

Newspapers were with me growing up, and they still inhabit my house: yellowed pages in boxes in the basement shouting out horrific events; random titles in a bedroom closet acquired at airport newsstands; special sections filed away for -- well, I don't remember exactly what, but there they sit in a filing cabinet drawer.

But neither nature nor nurture seemed capable of passing along a love of newspapers to my children. Not even guilt worked: "If you don't read the paper, I could lose my job," I used to say. (It was offered in jest at the time, but turned out to be prophetic.)

So allow me a self-satisfied chuckle at PostPost, the "personal, real-time Facebook newspaper" (emphasis added).

Don't get me wrong: It's a cool idea and one of several services for use alone or on Facebook to organize news feeds coming to you via social media. (For example, I get a "newspaper" daily in my inbox with tweets shared on the topic of "journalism.")

Mashable, which offers a technical analysis of PostPost (isn't that nameplate reminiscent of the New York Post's?), sees it as a next step in sharing: "As more of us use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to find and share news, the traditional RSS reader is slowly getting replaced with these types of solutions."

Come Christmas break, I'll have to see whether either of my Facebook-focused Gen Y kids now "reads" a "newspaper."

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