Knight Ridder on social networking

Knight Ridder on social networking
Hilary A. Schneider, president and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Knight Ridder Digital, is the subject of this week’s Five Questions segment in the online Editor & Publisher and gives a little insight into the company’s decision a week ago to invest in the social networking site, Tribe.net.

“We’re exploring how social networking can power listings — especially private party — through our investment in Tribe.net. We think there’s a tremendous opportunity here to build a business around the intersection of communities of interest, self-publishing, and person-to-person listings.”
According to Schneider, “We think user-generated content, powered by social networking, has potential to drive traffic, revenue, and listings in our local markets.” Schneider said her company is also drifting into blogging, although it must be clearly separate from content that has been through traditional editorial paths. “To provide transparency to users,” she noted, “blogs should be clearly labeled: what is edited by us, what is written by us but published in real-time, and what is self-published by other users.” These developments are extremely important to watch, as Knight Ridder is one of the media giants that “gets” the whole Internet thing. I’ve written before about the power of social networking, because it so perfectly fits the Postmodern concept of tribes, where community is defined by interest more than geography.

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