It looks like Flipboard; aggregates and posts content like Reddit; and presents news visually, like Newsmap. And it's from Intel. Launching today, Intel iQ is a social-publishing platform and the tech giant's latest content-marketing experiment.
Intel Launches Employee-Curated Digital Magazine
IQ resembles a digital magazine but is curated by Intel employees. A story gets to the iQ front page when a certain number of people recommend it. The goal is to "connect with a younger audience and tell them the bigger story of who we are as a brand," said Editor-in-Chief Bryan Rhoads. "Many of them don't know, so we need to tell them the story of Intel that is beyond PCs and beyond processors."
Mr. Rhoads will sometimes place staff-written or important stories on the page, but most articles will appear democratically and make it on their own merits. On page, each story box appears with a photo and a tag: "IQ Original" for staff-written and freelance-commissioned articles, "iQ Network" for content written by partner companies such as Discovery or Vice, or "Via" for pieces from an outside source. The last tag is followed by the name of the publication, for instance, "via Mashable."
Each story box grows visually as social media -- clicks, shares, freshness, relevancy and other data from around the web -- is added.
Stories range in topic from the latest in biometric shirts and the newest Angry Birds game to gamification in the classroom and social's influence on the rock band Counting Crows. But technology is the stories' common denominator. The beta site is organized into three main topics: media, life and planet.
"We have Facebook, Twitter and blogs and all of that , but they're really not tailored to a younger audience," Mr. Rhoads said, adding that iQ is intended as outreach to that demographic.
Nicknamed "The Blogfather" by his marketing colleagues, Mr. Rhoads is an Intel veteran who has worked on social media since 2006 and is now chief strategist for the Intel Social Media Center of Excellence. He helped launch the company's brand blogs six years ago and sees Intel iQ as the next logical step. Intel is already a traditional social-media publisher, with 10 million Facebook fans and almost 250,000 Twitter followers.
"This is a new type of social property that is meant to feed social media and content needs," Mr. Rhoads said. "IQ is not necessarily a destination, but more of an engine and platform to get out into Facebook and Twitter. You don't have to come to iQ, but you'll be getting iQ stories in your news feeds and streams."
Intel has garnered kudos for its social-media policies. It published its employee guidelines online in 2008 and was praised for the progressive edge, high level of trust and minimal restrictions. Currently, there are 160 social-media practitioners at Intel globally who contribute to iQ, and Mr. Rhoads said he expects that number to grow to the "thousands."