Saturday, September 20, 2008

New BusinessWeek Site centered around topic pages

BusinessWeek is about to introduce a new site combining elements of verticals, aggregation, user-generated content, popularity rankings and even something resembling social networks – in ways intended to capture new readers and channel them into niches that will attract advertisers.

It’s called Business Exchange, and after two years of hush-hush development (and a beta site that’s been up), it goes live any day now, accessed at

This approach to the fast-evolving digital world promises to experiment in expanding its audiences while other publications are doing little more than posting articles online. A few other magazines and newspapers are serious about building verticals, but they tend to warily defend control of online audiences and content.

Not Business Exchange.

Each Business Exchange topic page will link to articles and blogs at countless other sources – including its competitors – with the contents updated automatically by a Web crawler.

Another cool feature on Business Exchange I’ve read about it that a user can post new material to a topic page (or even create a new page) by choosing the subject and the title, and then writing a brief introductory description. While this may not seem like a world-shattering idea in the wiki era, it is for a mainstream publication.

And there’s more for LinkedIn users. A reader can create a network among other readers and import information from a LinkedIn account. It can track the user’s reading and posting habits.

Through the topic pages and profiles, BusinessWeek hopes to be able to deliver narrowly focused audiences to narrowly focused brand advertisers – and even let the brand marketers learn who the potential brand ambassadors are.

(I’m en route to Mumbai for the Asia Brand Summit. Stay tuned for updates.)

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