Ampp3d, Trinity Mirror's new project for "socially-shareable data journalism", launches today to "explore both the day's news agenda and a range of topics that people care passionately about", according to the site.
The mobile-first site builds on the lessons learned at UsVsTh3m, Trinity Mirror's humour site that reached seven million visitors in less than six months, but aims to make more serious stories based around facts and figures.
"Every day since 22 October I've been making a spreadsheet of the type of content I would commission if the site was up," Martin Belam, editor of Ampp3d, told Journalism.co.uk, "so now I'm really looking forward to getting it started and seeing what will work."
Belam and his team – which includes data journalist Anna Leach, previously of The Register, the Wall Street Journal and Channel 4; data journalist Conrad Quilty-Harper, most recently the Telegraph's interactive news editor; data journalist and developer Tom Wills and illustrator Jhinuk Sarkar – have been working together for some weeks to write material to launch the site with.
Sections include politics, energy, charity, health, technology and regular features such as "chart of the day". Unlike UsVsTh3m, where Belam was project lead, Ampp3d features advertising and a stronger attachment to the Mirror brand while still having the freedom to be inventive, Belam said.
"There's something so restrictive about the day-to-day treadmill of publishing and having to fill a quota of articles," he said. "To get a number of impressions on ads really stifles people's ability to innovate. I feel quite lucky that Trinity have given us the space."
The social nature of the project is vital, said Belam, and Ampp3d will tap into the same lessons learned at UsVsTh3m in making content that is popular on social networks.
"One of the things we've learned from UsVsTh3m, with the political satire games, I feel that people share them on social media because it says something about themselves and their own politics without them coming across as a politics bore," Belam said.
"With Ampp3d I want to aim for coverage of stories that taps into that same thing that allows people to share something that's accurate and fact-based and also has an angle to share something about yourself."
Applying a more serious editorial focus to social articles will be a "big learning curve" said Belam, who also stressed that when it comes to traffic referrals for news sites, "search just isn't a growth area anymore".
"I still see the whole thing as a continuous experiment," he said, "and I think news organisations that aren't continuously trying to experiment are increasingly going to struggle."
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