The Independent partners with Livejournal

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth
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*[The Independent]( "The Independent")*, of all our national newspapers, had a reputation for terrible, half-hearted blogging, and [has done for years]( It was quite a surprise, then, to see that it’s entered into [partnership with blog-as-social-network site Livejournal]( to relaunch its blogs. Now, I’ve been an LJ user since 2001 – it’s where my very [first blog]( lives – and I’ve always thought of it more as a communication tool than a publishing platform, but it clearly has aspirations elsewhere, as the news post describes the partnership as their “first attempt to engage on the ground in the UK” – which I’ll try not to be offended by…

Jimmy Leach, the paper’s editorial director for digital, has posted about the launch, in a way that suggests they see the site as something akin to The Telegraph‘s My Telegraph:

*But this is mere tinkering to the major new aspect of the Independent
Minds – and that’s that you too can become bloggers on this site. Just register (with
LiveJournal who are providing the back-end to all this) and you can add
your voice to the others on this site and share your thoughts with the
huge and growing audience the site has. You do have to register, I’m
afraid – some may find it a pain, but its mean’t to be a community, not
a free-for-all.

The design of the Independent Minds section, as the co-branded area has been christened, is actually pretty nice, and they advertise a pretty wide range of contributors. It’s only when you click through that you get a feel of how patchy the posting is right now. Sex columnist Catherine Townsend posted yesterday, which is good, but foreign editor Raymond Whitaker hasn’t posted for two weeks. Only the most prolific posters seems to be garnering any comments at all.

An interesting idea, certainly. But does it have any more legs than The Independent’s last effort in blogging?

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.