New York Times names Social Media Editor

The New York Times has named Jennifer Preston as the paper’s first social media editor. In a memo to staff, John Landman says, “What’s that? It’s someone who concentrates full-time on expanding the use of social media networks and publishing platforms to improve New York Times journalism and deliver it to readers.”

Think of Twitter. Did you know that The New York Times is No. 2 on the Twitterholic.com Top 100 Twitterholics based on Followers? (Behind Ashton Kutcher but ahead of Ellen DeGeneres.) Don’t care? OK, but the point is that an awful lot of people are finding our work not by coming to our homepage or looking at our newspaper but through alerts and recommendations from their friends and colleagues. So we ought to learn how to reach those people effectively and serve them well. At the same time, more of us are using social networks to find sources, contacts and information. Like this guy.

Jennifer will work closely with editors, reporters, bloggers and others to use social tools to find sources, track trends, and break news as well as to gather it. She will help us get comfortable with the techniques, share best practices and guide us on how to more effectively engage a larger share of the audience on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Digg, and beyond.

(via Nieman Journalism Lab)