Keller: ‘There’s a misconception that I’m opposed to social media’
“Some of it comes from people who haven’t paid close attention to what I’ve said on the subject,” says Bill Keller, “and some of it, I think, comes from people who know better but who have made a reputation for themselves by being digital evangelists and cyber-puritans, who treat any hint of skepticism as heresy.”

My view of social media is that it is a set of tools, not a religion. Twitter and Facebook are brilliant tools, the journalistic uses of which are still being plumbed. They are great for disseminating interesting material. They are useful for gathering information, including from places that are inaccessible. They provide a kind of serendipity, a sense of discovery, that some people thought would be lost as print periodicals declined.

The New York Times executive editor also tells Anthony DeRosa:

* “In our newsroom, I’ve been an enthusiastic promoter of aggregation. I think readers come to us not just for our original reporting, but for our judgment.”
* “I follow Twitter and pay attention to it, but I rarely Tweet because I have a rather large platform here, called The New York Times.”
* “If I had to pick one challenge we met with lasting impact, it would be our successful adaptation to the digital world.”

(Emma Gilbey Keller tweets that DeRosa’s interview with her husband was “great.”)

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  • Matthew Battles

    In the latest fit of cyberpuritan pique, @techsoc responded to Keller’s unsubstantiated assertions with a list of papers in refereed journals. It’s funny how much a case of someone out to make a reputation as a digital evangelist can look like holding an august-but-irresponsible commenter’s feet to the fire.