Newspapers Accelerating Community Features

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Last week MediaNews announced it would be using Topix to power comments and other community features on its newspaper sites (Howard Owens thinks this is a dumb deal). Now the Tribune Co. owned LA Times disclosed an investment in social news provider (the Digg-like) Mixx. It will also be integrating Mixx social and personalization features into the Times’ site. Here’s what the release says about the implementation:

Mixx offers readers additional tools to help harness and organize the vast assortment of internet news, information and multimedia content. Users who click through to the Mixx site from Los Angeles Times story pages can submit items without any requirement for registration, and quickly search and browse through content from Southern California and beyond. Upon registration for a free Mixx account, users can also expand their social networking and bookmarking options by creating and participating in public and private groups, networking with other Mixx users who share their interests or live nearby, joining the lively discussion by making comments about items they find interesting, and by voting for or against news, images and videos that they like or dislike.

According to Matt Marshall at Venture beat, the Times will also start using recommendations functionality from Aggregate Knowledge:

It has also said it will start using technology from Aggregrate Knowledge, a Silicon Valley company, to deliver user-driven content suggestions to its web site, starting with its travel section. It lets users see what other users like them have also viewed.

And a few weeks ago the NY Times integrated blogrunner, while the WSJ added Digg buttons. Broadly speaking, these community and social media elements are smart adds for newspapers, if late in the game.

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