Today's elaborate memorial for Michael Jackson at the Staples Center is expected to be viewed by one-billion people across the world. One major component of that viewing will be Facebook - both via Facebook.com and through Facebook Connect.
In starting a short series on this blog about ways that Facebook Connect is changing digital media and online marketing - we get a powerful glimpse of how Facebook and Facebook Connect are transforming media viewing. CNN's coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial is a prime example:
CNN has been promoting the event for days and throughout the morning. Facebook is a core element of their television and internet coverage.... and it makes total sense:
- CNN Live allows users to RSVP to the Michael Jackson Memorial, which is then shared through the Facebook feed. This allows CNN and fans to tap into the power of Facebook's graph and the resonance of Michael Jackson's name (the MJ fan page is now the largest Facebook Page with nearly seven millions fans)
- During the memorial, the conversation about the event and CNN's coverage allow are more targeted (across my Facebook social graph) and flows in two directions (to and from Facebook)... this is a more relevant, engaging experience for users and great viral marketing for CNN
- Finally, if you believe that conversation is the core underlying of how and where the social web is moving (and I firmly believe this), Facebook Connect can be the enabling force... changing CNN from a one-directional news broadcast to a multi-directional conversation relevant to the people, media and content surrounding it.