New York Times The Times' social media editor role will be folded into the interactive news department under Aron Pilhofer. Photo: Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr. Some rights reserved
The New York Times' first social media editor is stepping down from the role to take up a new reporting position, as part of wider changes to the title's social media strategy. can confirm that Jennifer Preston, who was appointed to the role in May 2009, will now be a media reporter covering social media for the Times.

Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news technology, will take on the social media editor role. Pilhofer has been behind some of the Times' most innovative online projects, including buliding data-driven applications for the site, and is also co-founder of DocumentCloud, an open source platform for document and data sharing.

In the role, Preston worked with editors, reporters and other newsroom staff to help them use social media sites and tools for newsgathering, monitoring trends, breaking news and finding sources. An update to Twitter by Pilhofer says that social and community responsibilities are now being folded into into the interactive news department.

"Aron and his development group, while best known for things like their work on the election guide and election results package, have long played a role behind the scenes building the technical resources for our Twitter and Facebook presences; he will now be more broadly responsible for our presence in and strategy for these media, and will manage the social media producers and the community/comment moderation group," New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said in a memo sent to staff yesterday.

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