Six-year-old Good — the company behind Good Magazine and Good.is — is beginning a new chapter Wednesday, with the relaunch of its website as a digital community for social action.
The new Good.is is a place for people interested in creating change to spread awareness for different causes with a like-minded community — think change.org meets Facebook. It’s also a place to read feature-length stories from Good editorial staffers, follow people and organizations with common interests and find opportunities to get involved with nearby.
“This platform is built around pushing the world forward,” Good Publisher Ben Goldhirsh told Mashable. “We’re an interesting, pragmatic community of people who give a damn. It’s pretty exciting to think that we can have an intent-driven network.”
The new Good.is has features you’re used to seeing from the social networks you’re already using — user profiles, a news feed, a to-do list (think Foursquare), and the ability to follow others and build a following.
What does Good bring to the table that isn’t already offered by general platforms like Facebook? Goldhirsh believes networks with common themes lead to increased consumption.
“People are more likely to share and consume on a network specific to their intentions,” he says. “Individuals are existing in intent-specific spaces. You’re not necessarily in the right state of mind when you’re on Facebook uploading pictures of your kids or checking out pictures of you buddies.”
The concept of the social network stems from Good get-togethers, where the Good leadership watched their readers go from being a passive audience to an active community. The new Good.is is a way to keep the discussions of social change moving forward, so the fire marshals can’t fully shut down the party at the end of an event.
Goldhirsh sees the unique experience offered to each user based on specific interests as one of the key opportunities of the new platform, which Good couldn’t do when it was a more traditional magazine.
“Every audience member was the same,” he says, “now we’re elevating pieces of content based on the individuals you’re following.”
In June, Good laid off six of its nine editorial team members, in a move co-founder Casey Caplowe described as “strategic.”
Goldhirsh reiterated Caplowe’s statement, ensuring that the rebuilt Good team is designating “the same if not more money toward content creation.” Good will continue to be supported by ads after its relaunch, just as it was as a magazine. There are now eight editorial staffers, including the recent hires, among the company’s staff of 80.
“We’re a mission driven business, meaning we want to do as much good as possible, first” Goldhirsh says, explaining the staff overhaul.
Among the early users of Good.is is Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, whose social activism platform Jumo Good acquired in 2011.
Though several media sites now include certain social networking and gamification elements, Good has chosen to devote all of its energies toward the relaunch. Did Good make the right choice? Can content have an impact without being social? Let us know what you think in the comments.