CMP's Internet Evolution (www.internetevolution.com), introduced Oct. 1, combines investigative reports from professional journalists with original blogs created by an invitation-only network of more than 60 well-known thought leaders—called the ThinkerNet. The site also offers a host of Web 2.0 tools that allows users to contribute content and enables all three groups to enter into a dialogue with each other.
This variety of content is the key to Internet Evolution, said Stephen Saunders, co-founder of Light Reading and project manager for the launch. He said a content-first strategy has been the driving force behind Light Reading, a profitable online b-to-b media company founded in 2000 and acquired by CMP in 2005. Saunders joined CMP as a senior VP after the acquisition and left in February to start his own consulting business.
With IBM Corp. signed on to be the sole sponsor of Internet Evolution for its first six months, Saunders said he will concentrate on building out ThinkerNet, which he expects to grow to 100 or more contributors by year's end.
The bloggers have a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds. Among the participants are the CIOs of Boeing Co. and General Motors Corp., the creators of craigslist and Second Life, the inventor of the Domain Name System, and experts in virtualization software and online advertising, as well as many influential authors, speakers, professors, venture capitalists and activists.
James Johnson, a veteran journalist with experience in multiple media platforms, joined CMP as site editor for Internet Evolution after a stint as senior editor at Success.
Internet Evolution employs many established Web 2.0 technologies, including comments, forums, bookmarking, rankings and personalized user pages. But CMP is working on developing some new tools as well, Saunders said.
One such innovation, due to debut this month, is a combination of two Web 2.0 terms—the wisdom of crowds and tag clouds—called the Wisdom of Clouds. Saunders explained this tool as like a tag cloud, which inflates the type size of a word tag as it is used more frequently. "This is a navigational tool that will organize thoughts," he said, suggesting that people need to see it to really understand it.