What: Gawker Media’s Kinja blogging platform now welcomes not only readers, but also publishers, and offers interesting tools for content curation.
Why is it important: The blogging experience is regaining strength. With tools like the ones being currently developed by Gawker, users will have the ability to curate content through their own lens. This is interesting enough for other communities to follow their lead.
In the interest of enhancing an improved “information discovery”, Nick Denton‘s Gawker Media (publisher of popular sites including Gizmodo) launched its Kinja ad-free, digital ecosystem last January, a publishing platform designed to make stories by breaking down the lines between the traditional roles of content creators and consumers.
In the past days, Gawker Media announced is welcoming more than just readers into its Kinja community. Now, publishers can sign up and distribute content on the open commenting and blogging platform.
Lauren Bertolini, community development manager at Gakwer, said that “any user can come in and create a blog and be in publishing. Everybody gets access to the same tools we have. What we have been rolling out [recently] is the ability for someone to come in and create a blog, add their own branding and have total control over the content they publish. They can even moderate their own discussions.”
Text annotation, for instance, is one of the newest features, one that is being tested on a select number of blogs. Users will be able to comment on specific text excerpts, rather than having to cite or summarize at the bottom of the page.
Several other tools and features are either in beta or under development. For instance, testing is underway to allow users to view discussions from a user’s perspective rather than the default author’s perspective. So instead of seeing what the author/moderator has responded to or starred, you could follow a specific commenter-whether it’s a friend or someone else from within the Kinja network. The idea is to be able to filter the discussions in various ways to encourage engagement and an optimal user experience.
As for publishers, Kinja is much more than just another distribution portal, because community engagement is one of its pillars. Because content is published on the same platform as Gawker and all of its verticals, it can be curated and amplified anywhere within the network. Content still belongs to the authors.
According to Bertolini, “a few dozen” publishers are on Kinja, and some of them, like Playboy, Road & Track and Random House, are working closely with Gawker to optimize their presence.
Bertolini says that the ability to curate content is a benefit to Gawker’s verticals, but she also attests that the value for other publishers is in the conversations happening on Kinja.