Venerable news agency the New York Times is jumping on the social networking bandwagon, but they are only dipping one foot in the water. The Firefox application TimesPeople operates in a fashion similar to Digg and Facebook, allowing the creation of friends lists with connected news feeds that show your friends recommendations and current reading history. The developers hope to move beyond the level of browser application and make the service easy to use without a required download. The Times is intentionally keeping the amount of social networking within defined parameters to ensure that they do not stray from their primary role as a news source. The RSS feed can be synced with an iPhone or with a Facebook account. Once a model is proven the news behemoths will cautiously incorporate it into their existing framework, especially as print and television news feels increasingly besieged by the abundance of small scale alternative media often created locally and organized or rated by users themselves. The adoption of social networking is essential for traditional media sources if they wish to remain visible and available in the emerging landscape.

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