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Journalistic Value in 'Hanging Out?'

Will the new age of journalism be just virtually getting together with reporters and editors and chatting about the news?

John Carney
CNBC
John Carney

The idea would have frightened me not so long ago. Now, not so much. At the behest of our social media team, I sat in on a Google Plus hangout with our NetNet blogger John Carney yesterday. It was my first (despite my job, I am kind of a luddite. I didn’t even have a Twitter account until a few weeks ago).

It was entertaining, which I expected given we were just “hanging out” with a few other people. More were listening in, but not participating I found out later. But it was also intellectually fun as well, even though it lacked the formality and preparation I typically value in news work.

A “hang-out” is basically people connected via Web cams and microphones on one screen. A souped up chatroom. The idea is for us to allow our readers to talk to us directly. Mr. NetNet has done a few of them.

I guess they invited me in because John and I tend to argue points, as editors and reporters are wont to do, and thought it’d be a different twist. Indeed, we got into a few arguments (and agreements) about the Fed, CEO integrity, trade policy, corruption, and milk prices. And many of the subjects were brought up by the non-CNBC folks hanging out with us.

In the end, I felt more like I’d been in a really loose roundtable talk about the news of the day, rather than just goofing off on a computer (although there was some of that as well).

We’re doing hangouts Thursdays at 4 p.m. Add +CNBC to your Google+ circles and hang out with us soon.

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Allen Wastler is managing editor of CNBC.com. Follow him on Twitter @AWastler. You can catch his commentary on CNBC Radio. And check out his fiction.

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