An e-mail dropped into my inbox last week, encouraging me to have a peek at FT Arena, a blog on the Financial Times site that allows readers to join in a debate on the editorial before it’s published.
Karl is fond of sharing the story from his days as editor of Computer Weekly. They had a guest editor for one issue, who sat in on various editorial conferences, an eye-opening experience for him. Much of the material in those discussions never made it into the magazine – and that seemed like a loss to him.
I’ve long wanted to see us do a real “behind the scenes” blog, sharing the though-processes behind the creation of an issue with the readers – and involving them in that process. Arena does exactly that for a very specific section of the FT, and does it pretty well. At the moment comments on posts vary between around 20 down to none. But it’s an interesting experiment, and I wonder how long it will before other titles follow suit.