Yesterday, The CNN Political Ticker, my favorite go-to spot for the most up-to-date and reliable political news, made itself even more accessible: it joined Facebook. By becoming a “fan” of the Ticker on Facebook, my newsfeed will now be populated by the latest developments in politics. In addition to the latest headlines, the Facebook-friendly Ticker also promises that CNN correspondents and producers will add photos and provide “behind-the-scenes insight of the hottest political stories.”
This recent decision to join Facebook echoes evolving trends of the Web 2.0 world: convergence and mobility. The days of waiting until you get home at night to check your email and the latest updates on your desktop are over. With the endless abilities and applications of gadgets like the Apple iPhone and the Blackberry, news is always at your fingertips- literally. With this ease of mobility also comes convergence. Just as getting information on-the-go is easier, the ability to find everything in one place has become easier as well. While email, news, social network sites, blogs, videos and other facets of the online world used to be accessed separately, technology is allowing different platforms to converge into easy, accessible and completely mobile applications. Now, instead of logging into Facebook to see the ever-important updates of my friends’ lives and then checking the CNN Political Ticker to see the latest political happenings, I can now do both at the same time and place.
With the promise to provide on-the-go photos and images from behind the scenes in Washington, the Ticker is allowing CNN correspondents to add a timely and mobile aspect to the Facebook page. Instead of seeing photos after-the-fact, Ticker fans can feel like they are in the middle of the action and witnessing the same things as they unfold. I wonder at what point fans of the Ticker will be able to begin adding their own images and information? Part of this trend of mobile convergence is the idea of convergence between producer and viewer, as the public often has the latest news updates before news organizations. This facebook application for the Ticker would suit “fan-generated content” fairly well. All in all, I can’t wait to see where else the CNN Political Ticker manages to invade my online life.
You can also follow the CNN Political Ticker on Twitter.