A new experiment invites you to 'Talk' on Inquirer.com

The higher-ups at Inquirer.com have shown their brilliance by choosing a big-news, big-reaction day to launch our new interactive feature, The Talk.

The page is designed to be visually-driven and interactive.  It's curated by Daniel Rubin, an Inky columnist and our director of social media. 

We know anecdotally and through surveys and focus groups that readers want more interaction and a more comprehensive place to find the news they're most interested in.  I think the page is fabulous, but then again I'm biased.  We need your input to see what works and what doesn't.  Is there something you want to see that isn't there?  Do you like the mix of news?  Would you prefer more focus on videos and photos, or on conversations?

Since I cover Montgomery County, I am most interested in learning whether reader engagement is greater (or takes a different form) for local issues vs. national / trending stories.  Obviously on a day like today, the Defense of Marriage Act decision is dominating headlines and social media.  But a couple of weeks ago when the building collapsed in Center City, local news carried the day.  I'll be watching and participating over the next few months, I hope you will too.

Here's how the page works, give it a try and let me know what you think! 

  1. At the top, thumbnails of some of today's best photos (click once to enlarge, and again to shrink).
  2. Below the photos on the left, a live-chat module called CoverItLive lets you comment and converse with Inky reporters and readers.  Suggest topics, leave comments, or post links and videos.  Already today, the live-chat has covered topics from Texas' abortion filibuster debate to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act.
  3. In the middle, a live blog covers the news that's "prompting the most interesting conversations."  Here, Rubin uses Storify to pull in people's tweets, links, videos and photos. (The big news now is DOMA).
  4. On the right, Rubin ranks today's best stories from Inquirer.com and posts Philly-relevant stories from other news outlets (like a great critique of Vogue's Philadelphia map.)

The site is also optimized for mobile devices, so it'll look great on your phone or tablet.