Kinja finally launched last week. Wrote Nick Denton, whose company (Gawker Media) is behind Kinja:
Kinja — a guide to weblogs — springs from a simple idea. Weblogs may be the most interesting phenomenon in media in decades, but hold the enthusiasm: they’ve reached only a tiny minority of the internet audience. About nine in ten US internet users have never even visited a blog.
It’s not for a lack of content that weblogs don’t yet have a mass audience. For every interest, there are thousands of engaging sites. They’re just hard to find, and then hard to remember.
If weblogs are to realize their potential, they need to reach beyond the pioneering communities of technologists and amateur political pundits.
So where does Kinja come in? Kinja allows even casual internet users to browse topics, explore the latest weblog writing, and then choose favorite authors to track. A personal Kinja digest contains excerpts from a user’s favorites, whether they’re friends who blog, or experts on a particular topic. Kinja is a blog of blogs.
Because Kinja is an RSS reader for people who don’t know what RSS is, who don’t know what a reader is, for that matter, or don’t care. A Kinja digest looks much like a weblog, with excerpts arranged in reverse chronological order…We’ve put ease of use above all else, even at the expense of the tools that power users hanker for.
Will it take off? Who knows? Kinja will not appeal immediately to the power users, and they’re the web’s most influential critics. The wider potential audience: that’s an article of our faith in weblogs, rather than the product of any research.
But someone — whether it’s Kinja, Bloglines or Yahoo — should at least test the proposition. Weblog publishing allowed frustrated writers to express themselves. Some of the most prolific weblog writers, have been able to attract a following, but most weblogs remain undiscovered. Kinja will make it that little bit easier for interesting weblog writers, and their potential fans, to connect.
An interesting hypothesis. I was looking forward to the launch of Kinja because (a) it was from Nick Denton (b) there had been quite some buzz surrounding it for the past year. My opinion: I am disappointed. Agreed that its not for people like me. Nevertheless, if this is what comes out after a year of work from some of the best minds…well! [A review by Suw Charman which echoes much of my thinking.]
I think there is a lot more the Kinja team can do – especially on the backend analytics to make blogs easier to find. More than topics, its the blogger that is important – I like to read people and their views.