The Economist's forthcoming online project will stay secretively under wraps, despite a blog having been launched to keep followers in touch with the development.

The news weekly launched a £100,000 operation, codenamed Project Red Stripe, in September to develop innovative ideas for changing the way the magazine works online.

The project's six staff, who are researching ideas in-house and taking suggestions from readers, started a blog because they "want to be as open as possible".

At the Blogs and Social Media Forum earlier this month, Economist publisher Ben Edwards suggested the new site would deploy social media tools to interact with readers.

When launched MyTelegraph in beta last month, it blogged the latter stages of the development process. But The Economist's blog has offered few hints for the last month.

Explaining the silence, Project Red Stripe's Tom Shelley wrote: "To tell you the truth, we wrestled a bit before we stopped writing our blog. At the time we certainly believed that going public now would almost certainly kill our idea.

"Going under the radar has allowed us to investigate a sector which is totally out of the Economist Group's remit.

"It has meant we could engage potential stakeholders and partners without having to manage a community. It has meant we could change our direction a lot, without having to explain our about turns."

But Project Red Stripe, which is due for completion by end of July, is still largely shrouded in mystery, with few clues so far offered by even the team's rolling office webcam.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).