You know what we have this week? A product roadmap for Kinja. That probably doesn't sound that exciting—and as a document, it's not! It's all just bullet points and lists—but what it means is that the Product team is out there banging away at improvements to Kinja all over the place, working in parallel on lots of improvements, many of which (all of which?) will make our lives better. (It's going to be public sooner than later. They want to make it pretty for the world to see.)
One great example: a couple of the developers dedicated to the Editor project will be sitting up in 210 Elizabeth on the 4th floor with the Edit team, the better to be at hand when one of our writers grasps the side of their face and begins to rip the flesh from their own cheekbones.
To be blunt, this is it for Kinja, in my opinion. Sink or swim. Our vision is good, our aim is true, but our implementation thus far has been patchy at best and just not good enough at worst. We've spent far too much time talking about big dreams and What Ifs—so much so that we've distracted ourselves from taking the incremental steps we need to match our competition. Those steps might be boring, but they're essential bedrock to build the platform that aims to be single best locus of collaborative blogging on the web.
The team is right and ready. They've got the resources, skill, and desire. Expect big changes to Kinja's UX, appearance, and functionality by the end of the year—and incremental but tangible improvements in just a few weeks.
Enough about Kinja.
The eight core titles continue to make strong traffic, holding steady around 68M uniques (US) a month. (We're aiming for 80M sustained by the end of the year; I know I mentioned a higher total than that before, but I made the mistake of shooting higher than I wanted to land, which on reflection was a dumb notion.)
Below, some of the best stories of the week, as well as wins using Kinja's discussion and invite platform. I would be remiss if I didn't highlight my favorite story of late this morning that burbled up organically from the greater Kinjaverse: Paul "Ftrain" Ford's valuable analysis of Kinja as a CMS.