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Allison Mooney

The L.A. Times is beefing up their user engagement strategy through two new deals, announced yesterday.

First, they will be teaming with Aggregate Knowledge to deliver user-driven content suggestions on The Times web site (starting in Travel, them rolling out to others in coming months). The Pique Onsite Discovery software makes “People Who Viewed This Also Viewed That”-type recommendations popularized Amazon and other e-commerce sites.

They’re has also investing in Mixx, a social news website that launched in October. On Mixx (dubbed “Digg for non-geeks”) users upload and vote on news, information and multimedia content, as well as form groups based on interest and location. The partnership will provide readers direct access to Mixx from where they can one-click contribute stories from the site. In addition, they’ve done some SEO inside the Mixx site for Times content.

Newspapers are facing stiff competition from blogs, so it’s no wonder they are focusing on user-generated content and social network distribution. Some are even integrating citizen journalism into their content mix through services like You see similar initiatives by broadcasters; witness and the inclusion of professional network content for free on Bebo. They are finally freeing up their content so it can be mined, shared, and remixed–brought to life on the web.

Press Release on LA Times and Aggregate Knowledge

Press Release on LA Times and Mixx

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