relaunches with stronger citizen journalism focus

Topix founder and leader Rich Skrenta, is explaining Topix’s shift in product direction and presentation unveiled today at in a terrific blog post that’s all about listening to users and reinventing a product–but not changing the technology under the hood.
Basically, the site has re-launched with an emphasis on hyper-local citizen journalism, forums and blogs–all the gnarly community bits newspaper find it so hard to do.
The local content bits are wrapped in services–like classifieds, and aggregated feeds, and those goshdarn Google ads are ever present. Editing and hiearchy are organized like the Open Directory, which Rich helped start, and there is no home page–you roll your own with your handy-dandy zip code of choice.
Susan sez: I love Topix, always have, and think this new play is so disruptive to other emerging efforts out there– NowPublic and Placeblogger come to mind, along with every portal and newspaper vision of how to drill down on local and get the secret sauce (yes, I mean this could be a super platform, kids). Those automated feeds and results ain’t going away, they’re just being wrapped in a more expensive to commoditize wrapper.
Rich has a neat lift of comments on the relaunch, re-posted here for your convenience:

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