Fast Company goes social

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Fast Company has re-launched their site as a social media outlet. Comments, user blogs, and discussions, are all now center stage on Fast Company. They’re attempting to blend content and community.

Edward Sussman, the President of Fast Company’s parent says,

Can a business publication blend journalism and online community to create something better than either by itself? We think so. If done right. ... There are a lot of important reasons why amateurs should be powerfully enabled to participate in journalistic endeavors.

It’s not all about the amateurs, though.

The site is not an end to professional journalism. We’re still the website of one of the most influential business magazines in the world. Journalists will continue to produce thought-provoking, ground breaking stories.

And they’re not trying to replicate social networking.

We’re not chasing a fad. We’ve been in the business of online community for a decade. Opening up the site to deeply ingrain it with the voices of our millions of online and print readers has been a goal we’ve had since 2005.

It’s not a pure social network. You go to Facebook or MySpace and find the friends and co-workers you already know. The real world gets reproduced virtually. Maybe you meet a friend of a friend.

Instead, they’re giving readers the ability to form a community around business and Fast Company. Write a blog. Ask and answer questions. Recommend articles. They’re enabling active participation—no longer are the readers a passive audience.

Profiles track what you’re doing on the site, allowing others access to all the content you’ve created, what you’ve recommended, and helping them learn more about you.

The site runs Drupal, and as someone who manages several Drupal sites, I’m excited to see that they’re planning on contributing to the Drupal community.

Jeremiah Owyang
February 9, 2008 8:44 AM

Adam Thanks for pointing this out. I question if elevating the community just to be innovative is the best strategy, isn't the reason we like Fast Company because it's interesting ideas? I can get community ideas anywhere else on the web, a detailed analysis here:

March 24, 2008 5:58 PM

I think it is a good idea, my local newspaper recently added social network features using pluck, and it was the brightest move I've seen them make. It's about the only way for them to encourage more readership and interactivity, and gives them more page views and time spent on the site, which in turn should translate into advertisers supporting the declining medium more. Mini social networks are developing, without the need to compete with myspace, only to encourage more community and add tot he stickiness of good content. This is a good thing for everyone, and the end user feels more involved, and listened to.

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