This week we moved Gizmodo to Kinja. While we are far from finished (we'll never be finished), this at least completes the long planned transition off of our prior publishing platform, Ganja. Calling it a redesign is actually very far from the mark. The new look is the most immediate impression of the platform. Well beyond this is a platform to engage in discussions about news, ideas and people. The following is a recap of the launch of kinja.com, a new site for Hungary, a relaunch of Gizmodo en Español, and the transition of all eight Gawker Media sites to Kinja.
Development of the platform began in July 2012. By September most development and operation efforts moved toward building kinja.com, and went largely uninterrupted despite the diversion brought on by Hurricane Sandy. On January 2 we launched Kinja along with our Hungarian site, Cink, and a relaunch of Gizmodo en Español. It was a modest first step, but was significant first milestone met, and a local focus for our team in Budapest. Just last week, Cink brought us a first person perspective of an earthquake felt in Budapest, along with numerous eyewitness accounts of the 4.8 event.
Jalopnik moved to Kinja on February 8. With it we launched our first reader run group blog OppositeLock. It wasn't long before we had our first big story on kinja.com: So... I Bought A Firetruck — nearly 124,000 visits, a popular story by any measure. Readers use the platform to dissect the new McLaren F1 car, add local flavor to a story about bad drivers, and share personal stories about the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
io9 and Deadspin made the transition to Kinja on March 11th. Following on OppositeLock, io9 launches Observation Deck, Deadspin maps the shit that happened, and readers continue to push discussions beyond the story: is there a depiction of heaven that isn't worthy of its own ring in the Inferno?
Next came Kotaku and Talk Amongst Yourselves on March 25th, and Jezebel, the Powder Room, and Group Think on April 1. Readers identify a photographer, find a stolen volkswagon (on Jalopnik), and answer a call to respond: Are you unemployed, yet still buying and playing video games?
By early April, we've moved most of our sites to Kinja, and are on target to hit our goal of converting all sites by May 1.
On April 15th, Lifehacker moves, and Hackerspace is launched. At this point, the transition is smooth — about 10 minutes to cutover a site. Most of our time is spent monitoring impact on infrastructure, especially as we convert the remaining sites to Kinja.
April 22: Gawker moved to Kinja a week ago, and we introduced an improvement to discussion layout. Gone is side-to-side scrolling through conversations, and it seems most people like the improvement. We also brought Valleywag back, something that should bring smiles to many (at least those that have frequently told me we should bring Valleywag back), though not necessarily everyone.
Last week brought more great stories on kinja.com, too. A guide to getting a vasectomy, the Drew Magary book trailer, and homage to the loss of more than a tuition-free college, but one of the last vestiges of the New York City I remember from the late 1980s.
Since September 2012, there have been 6,000 deploys to production (if you factor out weekends and holidays that's an average of about 30 per day), thousands of lines of code written, a datacenter build-out (paired so we can open a second location), and one recovery from a hurricane.
And... what's next? Performance improvements (especially on mobile), design and interaction updates, next generation annotations (text, image, and watch for video), and improved tools to discover great people and content on Kinja.
Let us know what you think.