BusinessWeek selects 21Publish - another step forward in user-generated content

BusinessWeek Online has just launched an MBA blogging community based on 21Publish blog technology. As the official press release says:

“With 21Publish expertise, BusinessWeek has customized a fully-hosted, no-software blog portal that is fully integrated with the magazine’s front-end website presence and backend customer management and content management systems.”
The thing I especially like about this project is that all blogs are indeed fully integrated with BusinessWeek Online. User generated content and journalist content mingles within the same framework and under the same design, which I see as another step forward in how journalism and news making might develop.
Until just recently the world of classic journalism and publishing and the world of citizen journalism have been separated. For years and years we only had a top-down approach in publishing. The boost of blogs is a clear indication that people had a strong desire for a “counter public” beyond the gatekeeper system of classic communication. (“Counter public” is a translation of the German word “Gegenöffentlichkeit” of which I do not even know if it exists in English).
Both ecosystems started to converge when not only blogs quoted classic media but also classic media started to quote blogs and bloggers. Now here we are with that next step. Not only does a classic medium offer blogs (another case is, the biggest online community in France operated by radio station skyrock) but also blogs start to become an integral part of classic media.
There are more examples to find if you look around like the German newspaper Rheinische Post who even produce a supplement to their newspaper consisting of those user-generated content. 21Publish is working on a project where a large consumer brand name will offer blogs as an essential element of their website.
To me this development indicates that the value and importance of user-generated content is starting to being appreciated by traditional gatekeepers - the two worlds will continue to converge. It will be interesting to see over time how blogs and media or brand communication will start to influence one another. 
Anyway, thanks for choosing 21Publish! We are very proud today.

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This is the personal blog of Stefan Wiskemann, founder of 21Publish and 20six
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