Our Work

Mother Jones Magazine

Project Description: 

The Challenge: Redefine investigative journalism and political reporting, keeping Mother Jones on the forefront of innovation by empowering their readers to become part of the conversation.

The Solution: Launch a new online presence at MotherJones.comwhich facilitates community participation and allows Mother Jones to expand their award-winning investigative coverage.

EchoDitto planned, developed, and deployed a new site built on a modern content management system that allows for continued expansion of content and tools, providing a streamlined content creation system and a framework for expanding functionality for authors, readers and community members. We helped Mother Jones to focus and prioritize their content navigation, simplifying a fifteen-item header down to five primary links.

With the new site, Mother Jones goes beyond the standard journalism paradigm of sharing information with readers and puts those readers front and center of their online community. Using a new innovative commenting system, Mother Jones will call on its readers to share their reactions to articles while inviting commenters to take the discussion to new levels. Within each comment thread, not only can users vote up their favorite comments, but they can also identify their own comments as a proposed solution or a documented result. Through these new recommendations and tagging features, the dialogue continues long after publication. Moreover, Mother Jones can keep up with readers’ responses and incorporate those discussions in future investigative pieces.

To harness the collective power of these community discussions, we created a new reader-driven aggregation tool on Mother Jones called Comments Central. By highlighting the content with the most readers and the most active discussion, as well as selections from the editors, this page brings users together and helps to focus the conversation on the topics most interesting to the audience.

EchoDitto not only provided Mother Jones with an online platform that enhances both the breadth and depth of their reader experience, but also a platform that is built on software which adheres to their values. As an open source project, the Drupal content management system leverages transparency within the programming community to gain both valuable contributions and peer review.

Much as MotherJones.com invites readers to interact with and expand upon the site’s content by providing their own results and solutions, open source projects like Drupal invite programmers to read, redistribute, expand, and modify the software’s blueprints and to share this work with the wider community. These two systems share a common spirit and function: utilizing the contributions from a wide, diverse network to create a better, more useful product.

Check out the Mother Jones case study on drupal.org: "MotherJones.com - Using Drupal to Bring Readers into the Conversation"