The Daily Dot, which wants to be the ‘newspaper’ of the Internet, to launch online ‘magazine’
The Kernel will appear once a week (starting this Sunday) and debut with a look at the state of hacking culture and computer crime laws
The Daily Dot will premiere a new online magazine this Sunday, named after the shuttered and recently acquired The Kernel tech news blog. The Kernel, its publisher and editor say, will attempt to be the “deep dive” counterpart to the daily news site that covers the Internet as a community newspaper.
For U.S. readers, the brand “The Kernel” will be a new to them, and that is probably a good thing. The Daily Dot bought The Kernel from is its owner Milo Yiannopoulos in late January and what they actually acquired is a bit of a mystery. The UK website, the Daily Dot says, “earned a reputation for its investigative reporting and uncompromising examination of tech culture and Web communities.” In the end, though, it was known for not paying its contributors and having to shutter. (Yiannopoulos is now a contributor to both Breitbart.com and BusinessInsider.)
The Daily Dot’s publisher, Nicholas White, whose family owns Sandusky Newspapers, believes readers want to learn and be informed about Internet websites the same way they would their local communities.
“There are communities in Facebook and Reddit and Etsy today just as surely as there was a community in Sandusky, Ohio, 142 years ago,” White wrote in 2011. “But right now they’re living without the benefit of community journalism. The Daily Dot is going to change that.”
“We call ourselves a digital newspaper because that implies a certain kind of product orientation. For us a newspaper is broad and deep,” White told TNM.
The launch of The Kernel, then, is the equivalent of a newspaper launching its own magazine – which explains the Sunday publication date.
“A magazine, by contrast…is a little more reflective, a little bit more analytical, its not as timely in the same way, so it takes a more long term view,” White said. “Each issue will come out on Sunday, all at once, and its going to be a deep dive on a single theme or subjects that are important to Internet communities.”
Austin Powell, managing editor of the Daily Dot, will serve the same role with The Kernel.
“Each issue will have two to four of our more longform-oriented, investigative features,” Powell said. “They will be complemented by at least a couple of opinion topics on the subject matter.”
In addition to the feature stories there will be a new interview series called “Me IRL” and a comic by political cartoonist Ted Rall called Technically Fair.
The first “issue” appearing this Sunday will center on “the state of hacking culture and computer crime laws, chronicling the fall of the FBI’s most-wanted cyber criminal and the unlikely evolution of an Xbox hack turned global cyberweapon,” the website said in its press release.
The model at the Daily Dot, and now The Kernel, centers on whether readers are interested in the Internet to same degree that they are news concerning their hometowns. Readers go to Facebook, Reddit and other sites for what people are saying about things, events and other people. Are readers, not just techies, interested in the backstories? White believes so.
“The Internet is not like a nerdy, geeky, B2B tech thing anymore,” White said. “When we started out with the Daily Dot it was to focus on covering the Internet not for industry people, not for tech people. There is a place for that, don’t get me wrong, there are a number of sites that do that very well – and you know the list as well as I do – but who we felt were underserved were the users. There were millions of people who live a huge portion of their lives on Tumblr or Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest…”
Now, in addition to an online newspaper covering the web on a daily basis with the Daily Dot, they will have in The Kernel an online magazine, as well.
There appears to be no plans to launch a tablet magazine app version of the new online magazine as the Daily Dot, like a lot of traditional print publishers, has yet to begin launching apps. An app version may allow the publisher to experiment with paid subscriptions. But for now, both the Daily Dot and The Kernel will depend on web advertising to fund its efforts.
The Daily Dot’s promotional video for The Kernel: