Kudos to the San Jose Mercury News for their new online section called Interactive. Currently focused on the arts/entertainment beat, the Merc has set up nearly 20 weblogs for reader feedback...comments, critiques, reviews, etc. In addition to the central location for pulling everything together, they've wisely set up "channels" (i.e. dedicated blogs) for:
- Fashion & Style
- Hot Lists
- Movies & DVDs
- Teen Views
- Your Reviews
Similarly, a half-dozen or so of the Merc's reporters in the section have been given blogs of their own from which to build a following, such as Marian Liu.
Even just limiting this experiment to the typically "softer" arts/entertainment section of the paper, there are some interesting implications. The Merc gets the opportunity to act as host for a number of very active and passionate customer communities. And, if they're smart, the various providers of music, movies, gaming, and other areas have another venue in which to get unfiltered feedback from their customers. Nice.