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The Independent launched Independent Minds last week, a blogging platform for the newspaper's journalists and readers.
While most newspapers have blog sections now, only a couple of nationals (The Sun and Telegraph) have tried the reader's blogs idea so far, so I've been having a look at Independent Minds...
Independent Minds uses the LiveJournal blogging platform, which is nice and easy to use for the beginner bloggers that the Independent will hope to attract.
Also, the new platform looks much better than the previous Indy Blogs, which had white text on a dark background:
Unlike the Telegraph, Independent Minds displays content from its journalists alongside that of its readers, and it does a better job of promoting the blog on the rest of the site.
While The Telegraph buries the link to its readers' blogs in the footer, Independent Minds is promoted halfway down the homepage:
The fact that the LiveJournal header remains on the site throughout may confuse some users, as using the search bar or clicking on home takes you out of the Independent Minds site, though this does at least give the Independent's bloggers access to the rest of the LiveJournal community.
It could have been made easier to search and browse through the blogging section though; a dedicated blogging homepage with links to the latest posts and topics, as with MyTelegraph, would have been helpful to help readers find interesting content.
Having lagged behind other newspaper websites in adapting to the internet and Web 2.0 features like blogging, The Independent seems to be catching up online.
It relaunched its website earlier this year with more multimedia content, and had 8.4m uniques in last month's ABCe figures, up 93% on 2007.