Tina Brown, the former editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, launched in beta today her new online project, The Daily Beast.
Good timing, bad timing: Lots of news to discuss, but arriving just as the economy tanks. The highlights:
A wide-screen approach. A Flash-based series of key stories (and they're principally stories, with lots of text). Ten things you should be reading. A couple of recommendations from the top-pocket friends of Tina (Bill Clinton, step forward). A few blogs and articles from select folks. A few places they like.
It's very readable, very well edited, and very much tailored to an upmarket audience that enjoys a little (but not loads of) fun. Given day one, it does well.
In short, what an online magazine ought to be doing, what Brown would be doing if she were still at The New Yorker, but not necessarily anything off the charts in terms of innovation. It downplays multimedia (which probably keeps the costs in line, although some of those writers aren't pro bono types) and doesn't open an easy door to user-generated assistance.