Kinja is a collaborative blogging platform, open to everyone, yet designed to cater to the most curious. It is the culmination of over a decade of experimentation within Gawker Media, a publishing company that has built its eight core titles into media properties that reach over 110 million people across the internet each month. Kinja is an attempt to make our own in-house bloggers faster, more accurate, and more effective in their work—and to provide the same tools we use to everyone who has the gumption to use them.
Kinja is also unfinished.
Here is some of the shorthand, none of which are yet so complete as to be an official tagline for Kinja, that we use to describe our goal:
- A collaborative blogging platform
- A place where the most interesting discussion occurs
- An environment where sources feel safe to reveal their secrets
- A home for professional writers and talented amateurs alike
Kinja services four types, or levels, of users.
As a user of Kinja, you can be any or all of these types of user at once.
Most people first use Kinja as readers of one of our core titles' stories: a design post on Gizmodo; an essay or breaking news on Gawker; a best-of roundup on io9. We show our stories to anyone who clicks on a link to a story, just like any other platform on the internet. ("We're a web site.")
If a reader logs into Kinja and creates an account, they can "follow" other users to receive updates on their activity as it happens. This is fairly basic at the moment, and we plan to continue to expand the functionality for readers to include custom content suggestions, as well as expose what their "friends" are reading and interacting with within Kinja.
A commenter is a logged-in user who discusses a story on Kinja. At a cursory level, this is similar to "commenting" on a blog or news post elsewhere on the web, either on publishing platforms like a blog or social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit. Unlike other commenting systems, Kinja automatically sorts the most interesting or challenging responses to writers to present "Highlights": the best dialogue around a topic.
Because Kinja is open to all, any logged in user can comment or recommend any other comment or post. We use interaction from the original writer, as well as interaction from that writer's "friends" within Kinja to determine which comments to highlight, and which to leave in a separate "All Comments" tab. The more a writer interacts with commenters through discussion and reccomendation, the better the highlighted conversation will be.
Our goal for discussion is two-fold: to allow everyone to contribute, but to provide a way for readers to skim the best discussions without digging through hundreds of comments. This process and algorithm behind this is constantly evolving, not unlike the continual upgrades Google uses to improve their search results.
Soon, we will allow writers of original content to be able to sort the order highlighted conversations appear on the page, to provide a human editorial process to further refine the quality of highlighted discourse.
Writers can create their own original content within Kinja. Every user of Kinja has their own blog, where they can post as often and however they like. By creating interesting and compelling content, a writer entices an audience to read and discuss their ideas. An ideal Kinja writer will embrace that discourse to improve their thinking, their writing, and their perspective. In addition, we are continuing to build tools that will allow writers to work collaboratively with commenters to build upon ideas or even offer new questions of their own.
Clever writers will use Kinja's "Invites" system to open the floor to contributors from outside of Kinja, offering them a chance to add their insight and humor, to create an atmosphere of learning and frank discussion. We often think of it as hosting a dinner party: the best way to have a lively conversation is to not invite boring people.
Gawker Media currently employs over a hundred writers to create content within Kinja, primarily within our eight core titles, using the same tools that are available to every Kinja user. We pay them to answer questions, perform acts of journalism, offer cultural commentary, and to discover interesting people with whom to hold discussions on Kinja.
As a publisher—which, to be clear, is nothing more than a writer who wants to make a living through Kinja—you will soon be able to promote your content to other users within Kinja, including readers of our eight core titles, as well as opt-in to revenue sharing systems that will allow you to make money for publishing your ideas on Kinja. These features are still being developed, but to give you an idea of what our immediate goals look like, we want to be able to offer a living—a full-time career—to those with enough talent and gumption to build their own audiences on Kinja.
Kinja aims to be the easiest, most powerful tool for discovering the truth together.