Rob Weir passed this along. It’s a way for newspapers to make money by charging businesses to set up Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In his blog, Mark Coddington describes it this way:

Here’s how it works: Companies pay for The Independent’s web editor to set up their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, with synchronized posts between the two. Their posts are then aggregated  and displayed with a Twitter lists widget on The Independent’s homepage (about midway down) and on a dedicated giNetwork page. The deal includes on-demand social media consulting during business hours and a regular email newsletter with tips and success stories.

One of the earliest Web adopters in newspapers was Rob Curley. I remember visiting him in ‘02 when he was at Wichita. His department was making money, but it wasn’t from advertising revenue. The real profits came from Web development.

Leveraging our expertise is akin to building ads for clients. They get way more in terms of service. The difference, of course, is that the Independent is charging for the extra.