You can read up on Jennifer Preston’s background in this morning’s entertainingly cruel Gawker post. More important is that the New York Times as an organization takes social networks seriously as a work tool. A leaked internal email describes Preston’s role:
Jennifer is our first social media editor. What’s that? It’s someone who concentrates full-time on expanding the use of social media networks and publishing platforms to improve New York Times journalism and deliver it to readers.
@NYT_JenPreston has already taken early feedback: She unprotected her Twitter updates this morning and is now trolling for input on her job. I’m sure 80 percent of that feedback will consist of “you’re an idiot” and “The New York Times will be dead in ____ days/months/years.” Hang in there, Jen. They did this to David Pogue, too.