MySunSun Online soft launched its community feature MySun, last week, allowing users to contribute content to the site.

"Our idea is to make Sun readers the next editors of the website. One of the key drivers of the Sun is how much the readers get involved. They really respond to us, they write in, they ring in, they have the attitude that it's their paper and we are just the staff that look after it for them," Pete Picton, Sun online editor, told

The new feature allows readers can set up a profile, customise a personal home page, start a blog, join debates and contribute their stories, pictures and comments on breaking news.

MySun has a six-strong team dedicated running the project in which a community editor, hired specifically to run the feature, oversees a team of editorial moderators.

Mr Picton added that traffic numbers and numbers of people signing up had exceeded expectation and that new features and developments of the service would soon appear.

"Previously we haven't given readers a huge number of option to get involved with the website. This is giving them the chance to respond to content, to write and review content, and create their own comments," added Mr Picton.

"What we hope this will grow into is readers creating their own areas around the site, to review albums and review holidays, to start to create that kind of rich content. Doing this creates a loyalty because the readers feel more involved with the site."

Mr Picton denied Sun Online was trying to replicate the similarly Murdoch-owned MySpace, adding that there are significant differences.

"What we have got up at the moment is a community that can discuss things, comment on things and create a blog. But what it can't do is talk directly to other users, it's not a social network.

"The question is where do we take it next. For us it's a matter of seeing what is working and doing more of it to get the readers as involved with the site as we can."

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