Aggregation? Communities? Publishing? Don't They All Go Together?
from the catering-to-anyone dept
Topix.net, the site that which launched right here on Techdirt two years ago, which was later bought into by three newspaper giants that were trying to figure out this "internet" thing, has just gone through a major upgrade. Besides updating the look and feel, the site is trying to add community features, by allowing forums on any of their 360,000 topic areas along with the ability to submit news to the site yourself, like all those citizen journalism operations -- but with the exception that there's a lot more than just citizen journalism surrounding it. It's an interesting move, that basically seems like something of a "let's toss it over the wall and see what happens" experiment. It's one of those things that might not catch on at all, but if it does, it could really add value. From the perspective of generating ad revenue, it makes sense for the site, since it gives more reasons for users to stick around, rather than immediately shipping them off elsewhere. However, it also highlights the trend we were just talking about where "the news" is no longer about passive consumption, but being involved in the process. So, will Topix.net's three parents understand this and use this change to their advantage? Or will they just keep focusing on fire sales to appease worried Wall Street folks?