Wired Working on a Google-Baiting Widget
Also considering launch of ... an extreme sports blog?
For FOLIO:’s upcoming annual “Big Idea” issue, I spoke with Wired.com editor-in-chief Evan Hansen about what the site’s strategic priorities are heading into 2009. You’ll have to wait for the August issue for the full profile, but here’s some stuff Wired is working on right now:
Photo Gallery. At the top of Hansen’s wish list for the next 12 months is a state of the art photo gallery—and one with enough automation as to not annoy editors. “We’re hoping to have something to show that will blow people’s minds,” he says.
Widgets to End All Widgets. Wired.com is also looking at launching a series of widgets Hansen says could change the game for the way the site approaches content. First up is a Web reputation ranking tool—similar to one that Google recently launched (and Chris Anderson, oddly, helped develop)—which takes the user data from some of the big social networks like Facebook and MySpace using open API, crunches it, and spits out a list-style ranking broadcast across Wired’s widget network. “We’re trying to one-up Google,” Hansen says. “We want to talk to a bigger pool, and have a broader reach.”
Google-Style Management. Wired has taken a page from the Google playbook, allowing its developers to devote 10 percent of their time to “anything they want.” The idea is to cultivate a culture of experimentation and inspiration. "Our vision is to not just be a magazine publisher covering technology, but to be a developer of these things."
Wired’s … Extreme Sports Blog? Hansen says Wired is developing a number of new blogs on a range of topics, and is considering covering “extreme sports” with one of them. “We feel extreme sports—adventure—has a real Wired angle to it,” Hansen says. “No one really covers that area well.” Hansen says “it would also open up new advertising for us, sports drinks, things like that.”