We truly don’t hope it will get to that, so please pardon our cynicism. Fast Company today announced their “next generation” publishing site that will feature, “a substantial amount of content contributed from its online community.”
From the press release:
Readers can contribute member blogs, answer daily Fast Talk questions from the editors, participate in online discussions moderated by Fast Company editors and experts, and contribute content in many other ways.
Between this announcement and FastCompany.tv, there has a been a lot of news lately coming out of Mansueto Ventures, parent company of both Fast Company and Inc. magazine.
Meanwhile, Mashable calls the features, “a lightweight version of LinkedIn.” Full release after the jump.
FastCompany.com Releases Next-Generation Publishing Site
Seamlessly Blends Journalism and Community
NEW YORK, February 8, 2008 – FastCompany.com today released a “next generation” publishing site that blends its award-winning journalism with a substantial amount of content contributed from its online community. The site uses an innovative networking platform to encourage an ongoing business conversation among its members, editorial staff and everyday readers.
“Starting today, Mansueto Digital becomes the first major website to blend journalism with an online community to create something better than either by itself” said Edward Sussman, president of Mansueto Digital, which operates FastCompany.com. “There are a lot of powerful reasons why amateurs should be enabled to fully participate in the mainstream media.”
FastCompany.com, which attracts about one million unique visitors a month, was an early innovator in social media when it launched the Company of Friends, the first online business network, in November of 1997. The new Fastcompany.com merges the existing Company of Friends network, which boasts 95,000 active members in 200 chapters world-wide, and the site’s editorial content, into one experience.
Readers can contribute member blogs, answer daily Fast Talk questions from the editors, participate in online discussions moderated by Fast Company editors and experts, and contribute content in many other ways. Editors’ selections of reader contributions are published with great prominence throughout the site, including on the homepage.
Member profiles will feature the content they contribute to the site, allowing readers to get to know one another via their writing.
“We are offering professionals a sophisticated tool for connecting with one another based on the quality of their shared ideas, not just their resumes,” said Sussman. “Our aim isn’t to create an impersonal business social network, but to greatly enhance the level of business conversation in the nation.”
The site will sustain its quality of journalism, said Loren Feldman, editor of Mansueto Digital. Winner of Editor and Publisher’s 2007 EPpy Award for Best National Magazine-Affiliated Website, FastCompany.com publishes more than 100 stories and multi-media pieces a month and features more than 100 expert blogs.
“The site lets business journalists and readers come together to create a richer experience than either can achieve on their own,” said Feldman. “We are looking forward to learning as much from our members as they do from us.”
All content on the site is organized around FastCompany.com’s core themes: innovation, technology, leadership, management, design, social responsibility, careers, work/life balance. Each theme has its own topic page. FastCompany.com’s homepage aggregates the best content from each of the topic pages.
Members are able to customize personalized homepages with business feeds from around the Web, while following stories, blogs and other content from FastCompany.com. The site also allows members to send their personal content out to other websites via RSS feeds.
“We want to open up FastCompany.com to the rest of the Web,” said Lynne Johnson, senior editor and community director of FastCompany.com. “We hope our site will be a friendly place for bloggers to come to find a bigger audience, and we also hope to help our audience discover great blogs everywhere on the Web.”
The site will also continue its 10-year history of facilitating monthly meetings of its regional groups via its existing base of more than 200 volunteer community coordinators.
The site’s new functionality was built with substantial in-house resources and with several outside firms, including user-experience design by Bond Art and Science and development by Achieve Internet, Lullabot, Treehouse, Advomatic and The Revere Group. The open-source platform Drupal was heavily customized for the release.
After a $10 million investment in 2007, Mansueto Digital now operates an expanding network of sites, which include FastCompany.com, Inc.com, IncBizNet.com, IncTechnology.com and Scobleizer.com. Set to launch in March 2008, FastCompany.TV will include coverage of technology trends, interviews with C-level executives, reviews of the latest technology products and lifestyle programming. Robert Scoble, one of the most popular technology bloggers, will serve as Managing Director of the site.
Fastcompany.com, winner of Editor and Publisher’s 2007 EPpy Award for Best National Magazine website, is a leading website and community for people passionate about business ideas. Topics include innovation, technology, leadership, management, social responsibility, design, careers and work/life balance. The site blends a robust community encouraging reader-generated content with dozens of expert blogs, a popular staff-written daily blog called FC Now, as well as feature articles, videos, and podcasts. The site also offers the monthly content of Fast Company magazine.