ExpressIndia.com, the news portal from the Indian Express Group, has introduced blogging on its website along with a change in the look and feel and a new logo. It is also in the process of introducing webcasting and podcasting in a few months’ time.
“The whole exercise is to keep in tune with the requirements of our readers. We are also adding new channels such as classified, travel and tender,” said Mohit Bhakuni, Online Head, ExpressIndia.
Initially, employees of the Indian Express Group will be writing the blogs. The readers are also welcome to write blogs, but those will be subject to editorial moderation. “This has been made compulsory to avoid any frivolous posting given the fact that ours is a serious newspaper,” Bhakuni said.
“Our blogging platform is somewhere in the middle of Indiatimes and IBNLive. Whereas Indiatimes allows everybody to publish his blog and IBNLive restricts it for its employees only, we have taken a middle path as to allow moderated blogging by our readers,” Bhakuni further said.
Readers can also tag blogs with bookmarking sites like del.icio.us, DiggThis, Yahoo!My Web, etc. One interesting thing that ExpressIndia has introduced is self-policing as readers can report a comment to be offensive. The comment then will get automatically deleted with a report being sent to the moderator. Then the moderator can decide whether the comment is really offensive or not and can restore it.
“One year down the lane, we are mulling to recognise the serious bloggers on this platform in an event. A brief of the good blogs posting will also be published in our print edition,” Bhakuni said.
ExpressIndia is also planning to introduce podcasting as well as webcasting. “The podcasting will start with the video of our open forum ‘Idea Exchange’ that our print sibling conducts every week with a noted personality. Later we plan to provide audio-video clippings of important conferences suited by our reporters through high-quality cameras that will be provided to them,” said Bhakuni.
ExpressIndia had sometime back launched the e-papers of Indian Express and Financial Express. 80 per cent of the traffic on its online properties comes from outside India. In the first quarter of the current financial year, ExpressIndia saw its revenue jumping 50 per cent and expects 80 per cent growth in the second quarter. “Our traffic also saw 60 per cent growth in the last six months,” claimed Bhakuni.