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Slate's Innovation

Slate Magazine is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and I say congratulations. The online publication is cleverly headlining some essays by folks who explain, “What I Hate About Slate,” including in one case its “insufferable smugness,” by a writer who is occasionally insufferable himself in print.

Slate, which I read frequently, is many things. Innovative is not among them, not in any way that matters when it comes to the Web. It’s what it calls itself: a magazine, albeit a generally excellent one, and not much more, with a bit of Web technology tossed in.

There’s one area of genuine innovation at Slate, however: the FrayWatch, where human editors create new essays based on reader comments, which are posted in, you guessed it, the Fray. This fairly low-tech idea, more than anything else Slate does, gets the idea that the audience is loaded with smart people who have smart things to say.

I wish more publications did this.

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