Philly.com to roll out 'interactive' commenting, no numbers yet for Inquirer.com paywall - Technical.ly Philly

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May 20, 2013 8:30 am

Philly.com to roll out ‘interactive’ commenting, no numbers yet for Inquirer.com paywall

They all share a Clickability content management system install and are all looking for an update to their commenting to help beat back the spamming, let alone the hate and racist vitriol that has locally become synonymous with one of the region's most trafficked websites. The chatter came at an Online News Association event.
From left: Frank Wiese,, senior editor for multimedia projects at the Inquirer; Leah Kauffman, executive producer for entertainment and lifestyle at Philly.com and Josh Cornfield, digital editor at the Daily News. Photo by Donald Groff

From left: Frank Wiese,, senior editor for multimedia projects at the Inquirer; Leah Kauffman, executive producer for entertainment and lifestyle at Philly.com and Josh Cornfield, digital editor at the Daily News. Photo by Donald Groff

Full Disclosure: This reporter helped organize this event and the local Online News Association chapter.

A ‘more interactive platform’ for the infamous comments of Philly.com is coming ‘soon,’ said Philadelphia Daily News digital editor Josh Cornfield.

Just a month ago in April, Inquirer.com and PhillyDailyNews.com launched as independent websites for their newspaper staff content protected behind a paywall, with a healthy dosage of discount codes. (Print subscribers get access, and digital passes start around $7 a week.)

Philly.com, which had its own latest face lift last year, will continue to be an advertising-funded free website that shares some of the most viral content from its sister daily papers.

 Josh Cornfield, digital editor at the Daily News, discusses the rollout of the paywalled Philadelphia Daily News. Photo by Donald Groff.

They all share a Clickability content management system install and are all looking for an update to their commenting to help beat back the spamming, let alone the hate and racist vitriol that has locally become synonymous with one of the region’s most trafficked websites.

Editorial leads from the three news organizations, all of which are owned by Interstate General Media and based at 801 Market Street, gave an inside look at their recent web efforts during a attended Online News Association event Thursday night in the newsroom lounge.

Among the 30 or so in attendance, there were a few questions about the mobile strategy for newly launched websites of the city’s two largest daily newspapers. That’s still getting worked out.

Leah Kauffman, executive producer for entertainment and lifestyle at Philly.com.

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The Inquirer has a paid iPad app, which gives subscription access, and the Daily News uses a white-label mobile app service from Rumble, which was housed in the company’s Project Liberty incubator. But the newly launched websites aren’t responsive and don’t have a mobile version.

Philly.com has a mobile template that the Daily News may follow in the coming months, said Cornfield.Cornfield also hinted at where he’d like to see revenue go for the company.

“I think you’ll hear the word ‘membership’ more.” said Cornfield, differentiating from ‘subscription,’ the word used for their paid model now. “It can’t just be about the articles. We have to offer a lot more.”

Cornfield pointed to a 76ers ebook that the Daily News rolled out and other partnerships that could give paid customers more than just access to newspaper stories and a growing smattering of data-driven reporting tools.

If the three speakers — Cornfield, Leah Kauffman of Philly.com and Frank Wiese of the Inquirer — wanted to make clear their respective independence, despite shared management and some IT resources, it came through clear.

Wiese even mentioned how the risk of the paywall “is on management,” noting a longstanding divide between editorial and business. The speakers demurred on pricing and much detail about what success would look like a year out.

Likewise, as for digital circulation numbers in the first month? That’s not being disclosed and something kept on the business side of the company, not for editorial, said Cornfield.

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