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Newsweek's Facebook Interview with Tim Geithner, By the (Small) Numbers

By now, you may have read my colleague, David Weir's, post about the Newsweek redesign, in which the editors do everything, up to and including making the news!

But seriously, folks, another key part of Newsweek's new life is to put itself more aggressively onto other platforms, and thus, though I got to the party too late to join in, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham did an interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner live at 1 p.m. EST on Facebook. But it appears that a lot of people didn't get to the party either. Here are the stats on attendance and participation:

  • 932 confirmed guests.
  • 401 people said they might attend.
  • 1,917 didn't respond to the invite.
  • 177 people posted to the Facebook/Newsweek group's Wall.
  • 41 people posted a comment.
For a brand that has about 3,400 Facebook fans, (and almost seven million monthly unique visitors to its Web site), those stats shouldn't impress, and not because any of us should expect even a fraction of Newsweek's Facebook fans to show up. It's because when one takes into account the viral effect that is supposed to make platforms like Facebook so powerful, there was no effect -- it doesn't appear the social graph went to work so that there were tens, or even hundreds of thousands of invites forwarded from the brand's fan base.

So what gives? I could only speculate that word of the event wasn't circulated fast enough, or that many of us are suffering from Facebook fatigue -- or that too many of us were too busy tyring to keep our jobs to take notice.

(BTW, if you're looking for an archived version of the interview itself, I haven't been able to find one, as of this writing.)

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