Cisco recruits journalists to remake online newsroom

The networking giant lines up mainstream media contributors and opens up new website for social interaction—and even dissent.

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When Cisco’s John Earnhardt began recruiting journalists with big-league credentials to write for his revamped newsroom, he got two kinds of reactions.

“There are some that say, ‘Let me see what it looks like. Go live, and then I’ll let you know whether I will join you,'” says Earnhardt, who is director of social media communications.

“And there are some who are like, ‘Hey, this is great. Tell me what I can write about.'”

He’s hoping the site, which launched late yesterday, will win over the doubters—and prove to be a gathering place for the industry. Cisco is recreating its communications presence with a site that is more social, newsy and appealing for those interested in technology—even if that means mentioning a competitor in a story.

A hub for technology topics

The $40 billion company wants The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site to become a hub where users follow topics, debate stories and discuss industry trends. It is deploying staff and freelance contributing writers with credentials at places like Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, the AP and BusinessWeek.

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