Gawker has relaunched its Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag. But this time, the snarky site is focused on reader engagement.
Valleywag, which folded in 2009, is putting Gawker's Kinja discussion platform in the spotlight. The commenting system allows people to control online conversations by responding to other comments, asking questions, or posting videos and photos. It also puts new users in a queue, instead focusing on discussions that other readers have found valuable.
John Cook, editor of Gawker, wrote in a blog on Monday that the site's honesty is often reinforced by people's “ability to savage and correct and amplify and redirect” its stories.
“The revamped commenting system debuting today will refine and sharpen that heckling, and make it more likely, we hope, that informed sources and subjects will bring their voices to bear on our stories, unmediated and of their own volition,” he added.
In the past, Valleywag broke notable stories, such as the launch of Twitter, and it raised questions about Steve Jobs' health problems.
Sarah Lacy, founder and editor of PandoDaily, whom the original Valleywag wrote about many times, contended in a blog post that for the revamped site to work, it needs to hire reporters and dig up stronger stories on well-known executives.
I think Kinja will be very helpful to Valleywag because it focuses on useful information posted by consumers, rather than just insults or jokes. It's also important to create a dialogue with the audience.