As we knowour decision to move Rockville Central entirely to Facebook as a publishing platform has created quite a stir here in Rockville, but it has also created a stir among those who write about media and journalism.
We thought we were the first site to try this approach and after all the commentary, this seems to be true. We have been overcome by the extent of the coverage worldwide.
On the day we announced, Nieman Journalism Lab Assistant Editor, Megan Garber, called to chat about our move. Her article Rockville Central set to become a Facebook-only Outlet provided a terrific description of our excitement and reasoning.
Her article was then picked up by quite a few other sites:
Future Journalism Project: Local Paper Rockville Central Moves To Facebook-only reports on our switch while looking at Facebook stats and the recent evidence that Facebook plans to expand the journalism field.
The Next Web: Could Facebook Become A Better News Reporting Tool Than Twitter? Also describes Facebook’s advertisement for a Journalist Program Manager then gives updates from Gawker and Egypt about Facebook before describing our move.
Media Bistro: Rockville Central To Become Hyperlocal News Site – Without the Site – It Will Go Facebook Only also picked up the story.
Journal Standard: A peek to a possible future is a fine article but it didn’t get it quite right because we will be posting full articles using Notes in Facebook. We aren’t limiting ourselves to wall posts.
Media News At This Hour also highlighted the news.
In the meantime, friends wanted to write about our decision:
Former Silver Spring Penguin editor, Jennifer Deseo, has moved on to New York and currently writes The Hyperlocalist. When she heard the news, she kept slapping her knee as she thought about more and more ways a Facebook-only platform could really work, so she wrote Where hyperlocal meets the “like” button.
Since Patch is about to become part of the Huffington Post Media Group, the story was picked up by the Huffington Post Rockville Central To Become Facebook-only News Outlet.
Other news outlets also covered the story:
New York Observer: Local News Site Goes Facebook-Only discusses our move and Tumblr (which allows ads) and speculates that if Facebook were to come up with a revenue-sharing arrangement with news sites it could “boost news readership significantly, quantitatively and qualitatively, in all demographics”.
Lost Remote: Community news site to move entirely to Facbook thinks that if our goal is to create community, it’s “brillance”.
Mashable published an extensive article Facebook’s Growing Role In Social Journalism exploring the new world of Facebook and journalism including the events in Egypt and Libya. The piece also describes Rockville Central’s move, in fact it starts with it.
A couple of blogs had a few words to say:
Jr Deputy Accountant TLP: Bad News for Paperboys believes someone is lazy.
Zera’s Blog tells us to think “New World Order”.
We drew some attention internationally:
In the Ukraine an article tells of our move to feysbuk: Facebook-only Media: A Format That Saves Local Projects From the Competition? You will need a translation — and some points might be lost in it!
In the UK: Community News Site To Move Entirely To Facebook where he comments “For online news folks, that may sound absolutely absurd. Suicidal, even. But it may be a stroke of brilliance, especially for part-time hyperlocal sites that arent generating ad revenue. Community is the secret sauce of hyperlocal. The key differentiator.”
The Dutch site De Nieuwe Reporter also wondered if their TMG site would follow in our footsteps: Is The Future Of Local News On Facebook And Hyves?
Our move was even discussed on a tv show:
NBC’s North Carolina Today’s Chit Chat show did a segment on our move which they called a “sign of the times”.
We’ve been asked if we expected this attention and we did not!
When Rockville Central was founded, we made a point of using the free tools we could find, like Blogger. We wanted to be an example of how people could create and share online as a community without a financial investment. Anyone can do it! Hopefully this publicity will inspire many more to try. We hope you will join us on our Facebook page and continue the conversation.