As the internet continues to progress, so does the technology surrounding it. In many forms the technology presents itself but the main form that we deal with on a day to day basis is that of the visual functionality. Gizmodo, one of the leading tech news and opinion sites on the web, has recently embraced a new technology – Kinja – to create their recent redesign.
Similar to the need for GUNNAR glasses when viewing digital devices, websites need layouts and interactive formats to increase their viewability. In this, Gizmodo has turned the switch from a blog heavy layout to that of an old school news aggregate. While this provides a cleaner look of the site, it also helps to create a more engaged community. This community, similar to what companies like GUNNAR Optiks are doing with Backplane is an inherent and integral part of the site redesign.
While perhaps the redesign of a site is not normally justification for news, it’s not the redesign that is the news story. The story is the integration of community. Kinja, which appears to be a technology created by the folks at Gawker media (as it is integrated on all their sites) gives a greater power to the commenter, to the troll and to the informed reader. While this can be dangerous, it’s a great way to not only interact with the audience, but get a ton of free content in the process.
From the Gizmodo introduction page:
Are you a current Gizmodo commenter? Congrats! You have a Kinja blog all set up and waiting for you where your profile page used to be. Don’t have an account yet? No worries; just ease your mouse on over to the upper right-hand corner, where yourhilariouspun.kinja.com is just a few clicks away. You, too, can Kinja.
The goal here, similar to the aforementioned Backplane communities popping up, is to create a hub for super users and internet fiends. It’s to create the first place you go every day to discover, share and converse about the magic of the internet. And while the Backplane communities are usually oriented around a particular subject, celebrity or company – Gizmodo is hoping their Kinja community will be the starting point for many of their readers browsers every morning. While many new sites are not likely to follow suit, it is reasonable to assume that sites such as Wired.com, Techcrunch, Mashable and so on will start to adapt styles that are less personal blog and more streamlined and interactive.
Part of this streamlining has to do heavily with mobile use. All these news sites jammed with content above and around the article you clicked to read are too cumbersome for mobile. Yet, in the end it is mainly about community. Whether it be the GUNNAR Backplane, or Gizmodo’s Kinja, the important part is that we’re all hanging out together, sharing and laughing at all of the cat pictures.
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