These are questions that news organizations should be considering, as they discuss when and whether to participate in these types of location-based social networks. Sure, this is a new way to distribute old content, but what else is it good for? Collecting feedback from readers in a more streamlined way, organizing breaking news alerts by the readers’ current neighborhood, learning individual preferences not just by looking at the reader’s behavior but at the behavior of her friends and colleagues, for instance.
One audience member got a few dark laughs when he stood up and remarked on how limited his generation’s thinking was, not having grown up with the Internet, and how gosh-darn difficult it was to un-think the traditional ways of content distribution. He predicted that the real revolution in mobile content will only come when everyone in the room is dead and “the kids” have taken over.