The Reasons ABC Tied Up With Yahoo: Facebook, Twitter

More

Here at the Washington Ideas Forum, the heads of ABC, NBC, and CBS took to the stage for a panel moderated by our James Fallows. Alongside the discussions of international reportage and the politicization of news, ABC president Ben Sherwood provided an interesting rationale for his outfits expanded partnership with Yahoo. Here's the thing. As explained by Sherwood, the deal was not an effort to reach (large) Yahoo's audience per se.

Yahoo, he said, was the largest provider of news items that were shared on Twitter and Facebook. Ergo, "If we are the primary news provider to Yahoo, we'll be the primary news provider on Facebook and Twitter," Sherwood said.

Washington Ideas Forum - Full Coverage When the deal was announced, I tweeted that I didn't have anything interesting to say about it. But if you look at what Sherwood is saying, they didn't buy an audience, but a distribution platform that was formerly called the audience. That's a fascinating idea. You don't buy passive eyeballs, you buy active sharers. "News is fundamentally social," Sherwood says. "We embrace it."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In