The New York Times has partnered with Facebook on a new Presidential suggestions tool which collects the suggestions of Facebook users on various topics. The tool emphasizes how Facebook is becoming increasingly integrated with mainstream media. The tool also has a lot of room for improvement given that it’s less of a tool, and more of a one page marketing site.
Had the New York Times enabled Facebook Connect, it would have been possible to have an ongoing conversation via the site. Instead, the New York Times has picked select suggestions from the New York Times fan page. An interesting way of accomplishing this would have been to integrate a fan page widget that submits questions directly to the Connect enabled website.
Instead this is a one off flash animation that will draw a number of people to the site an will never return. Earlier this week I wrote about the Facebook CNN inauguration site that will integrate user status updates and live coverage of the inauguration. Interestingly enough, Facebook has been running an ad campaign on the site which asks users about whether or not they’ll be watching the inauguration yet there was no cross-promotion of the Facebook/CNN inauguration site.
While Facebook is a form of new media, the platform is being used as a way to integrate social features into mainstream media sites. This is an interesting positioning for Facebook which in some ways is becoming a its own source of mainstream news stories that are disseminated through the news feed.
If you’re part of mainstream media, you may want to consider making Facebook enabled tools a more engaging experience than the New York Times Presedential suggestions tool.