Cracks in the surface

Technology is great because it enables entrepreneurs.

It’s easy to bemoan the bureau closings overseas. American press abroad is about as scarce as our popularity in some countries. But our European counterparts have held the raincheck on the pity party.

They’re actually leading the push to disseminate Euro-focused news through start-up ventures.

Here on the home front, Pew released a report that confirms the obvious: Facebook is becoming a growing news source. Numbers are small for now – the NYT gets about six percent of its traffic from The Book – but it’s an important step in recognizing the power of social networks.

If Google is a tick, Facebook is becoming the lit match.

Other highlights from the report —

• ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports and online interaction. A quarter of visitors spend more than one hour on the site each month.

• Twitter has not found a place as a referral site for news.

• Online-only is not the dominant model. Most sites are attached to a legacy foundation.

The lesson that threads through the entire report is one of cautionary optimism. We still don’t know what’s going to work, so keep trying, entrepreneurs and journalists alike.

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