Fascinating Facebook app from the Mercury News

If you haven’t read about the things the San Jose Mercury News is doing to try to make itself more relevant to readers, you should.

It’s fascinating. And, I know some of my friends might blow milk through their noses at this next comment, but I find it very admirable.

Here’s a link to the PBS MediaShift blog about it. And here’s a link to the newspaper’s ongoing blog about the project.

Normally, I don’t write about things like this on my blog, but this evening I got a message through a friend on Facebook that I should install a new app called “Rethinking the Merc.”

I rarely install Facebook apps unless they either mean something to me professionally or they mean something to me personally, which means I only have a handful of Facebook apps on my profile. And though I’m not sure where this app falls under those guidelines, I installed it anyway.

I love that the San Jose Mercury News is reaching out to readers this way.

As of right now, it’s too early for me to tell whether the app is any good or not. I just haven’t spent enough time with it. My first impressions are that it’s basically just a Flashified RSS feed of recent blog posts about the subject from the Merc’s site, which isn’t probably the best use of a Facebook app I’ve ever seen … but not the worst, either.

Just as I feel The Mercury News’ “Rethink” project seems admirable, I also find it admirable that the newspaper has tried to reach out to its readers via Facebook.

Good or bad, at least they’re trying and there is a whole lot to be said about that.

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Dad. Journalist. Nerd. Music lover. Baseball fan. Puckhead.