Is Forbes playing catch-up or doing something new?
We've been following the changes at Forbes.com as another gauge on the evolution of journalism. They are coming quickly because of the appointment earlier this year of Lewis DVorkin as editorial director of Forbes.com.
Jessica Sutera recently weighed in on the first of DVorkin's major moves to open Forbes to guest blog posts outside of their regular staff of paid freelancers and contributors. While we said that it is merely the latest in the slow transition of traditional media properties to open up its audience to more viewpoints in a crowdsourced/community based model, time will tell how successful it is.
The latest change was first reported by Business Insider on Monday regarding the fact that every reporter would have his/her own blog on a revamped Wordpress-based network. The new network was supposed to go live on Tuesday afternoon, but didn't officially until yesterday with DVorkin's unveiling post.
Today, Forbes takes yet another bold step forward, knowing the world demands still more from its media industry. We are soft launching (yes, that means bugs) a blogging platform that puts news — and what I like to call “Entrepreneurial Journalism” — at the center of social media. It’s just the first step in our plans to open up our digital and print platforms to content creators, consumers and marketers alike. The platform was initially developed by True/Slant, a start-up company that Forbes Media invested in 2008 and purchased just two months ago. I was its founder and CEO.
Catch-up or something new?
Based upon the description above and what we see on the new site, it's hard for me to see anything distinctly innovative. DVorkin makes it clear that there's more to come in September, but for now the highlight is a site with a cleaner, more readable and more social-oriented design. As for the nugget in Business Insider that every reporter would have their own blog, that doesn't appear to be true yet, as the content is segmented by topic/industry vs. by individual journalist. That is the same approach taken by most other business publications and other popular online blog networks.
DVorkin goes on to detail how the Forbes 400 issue in September will be a revamped print product with a "Web sensibility." The melding of print and online has been a constant experiment by the media for at least three years now, first attempted by BusinessWeek before being sold to Bloomberg and more recently by the likes of Esquire with augmented reality codes and Sports Illustrated with MMS symbols that returned videos of the swimsuit models.
I'll reserve final judgment until more of the Forbes changes are rolled out, but for now, it merely seems like the latest of one, long industry experiment.
What do you think the most innovative part of this experiment has been?