The same week local news website TBD announced a massive reorganization and planned layoffs, one of the sites in its blog network Rockville Central declared it would become a Facebook-only news outlet.
Rockville Patch reported that on March 1 "the site would go dormant" and new posts would appear exclusively on Facebook, according to Rockville Central editors.
“There’s this big party,” Editor Cotte Griffiths said about Facebook in an interview with Nieman Lab. "It’s likely only to get bigger. And we want to be in there.”
Founder and publisher Brad Rourke told Patch.com the move was made in part because Facebook is already the No. 2 traffic source for Rockville Central and a survey found 45 percent of its readers are also Facebook users.
Griffiths provided a further breakdown to Nieman Lab, noting that of the site's 20,000 monthly hits, 2,000 are from Facebook.
Nieman Lab's Megan Garber notes that the challenge for Rockville Central is it won't be able to sell ads on its page (but Facebook will), though Rourke and Griffiths insist this isn't a deterrent. They said they're more interested in engagement than profit.
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