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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.

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This spring, Clyde Bentley made clear the urgency for newspapers to jump on the mobile bus before they get run over by it.

So how does the Missourian move into that space? How does it get into the business of mobile news and advertising content? What do we deliver? And how can we use mobile devices better in our information gathering?

Clyde, of course, will continue his research in and advocacy for mobile from the academic side of the aisle. He’ll teach, for instance, a topics course in spring centered around the movement.

Dan Potter is brainstorming with his staff about the potential for new revenue streams, including from mobile.

What about the newsroom?

At the May retreat, we talked about the need to have some “champions” for things like mobile and social media.

Good news: Katherine Reed has agreed to serve as mobile editor for the coming year.

She’ll have her regular teaching and assigning editor duties. But she’ll also help us figure out where we need to go and what we need to do it. We don’t lack for possibilities; we just need to make a guess as to best places to start.

I hope you’ll offer your ideas, whether here or to Katherine directly. We’ll most likely talk more about mobile at the fall retreat.

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