Sometime early this month, the website for CyberMedia’s Dare, the magazine for entrepreneurs, went live.

The most interesting element of the site is the lead story by Group Editor Krishna Kumar – “Who will be the next manufacturing superpower“, not because of the topic, but because Dare is offering its readers the opportunity to complete the cover story with their opinion, and win a Blackberry. So far, the story has received 40 comments – some of them very, very long. It will be interesting to see if Dare makes a habit of this – of driving readers from its highly regarded magazine (many entrepreneurs I know read it), cross-media to its website.

Content discovery is also being encouraged – the index page displays tags, the latest comments, latest blog entries, stories from different sections of the site. It appears to be a Joomla based site (correct me if I’m wrong).

Dare’s website has taken a lot time to launch – while the magazine itself was launched sometime in October last year, visitors to the site Dare.co.in were subjected to a “Coming Soon” notice over the next many months.

The content on the site is divided along four categories – Opportunities, People, Strategy and Funding, and the site also features blogs. Much of the content on the website is magazine content, and frankly, if there aren’t daily updates, repeat usage will be an issue.

Some suggestions

I’d put blogs right up there, in the proverbial “first fold”, and at least have daily updates. A magazine faces a key issue online – its content is updated weekly, fortnightly or monthly, while users online expect daily updates; in some cases, many times a day. The importance of recency cannot be understated – so either have content that is updated often, or offer users interactivity. Some suggestions:

— Adding relevant wire stories to the site: Digital Today did this for its magazines Business Today and India Today. Editorial selection is of great importance here, since irrelevant or badly written stories (many of those on the wires) will hurt the brand.
— Adding blogs that are updated frequently, and have an editorial mandate: Dare does have blogs, but they aren’t being updated frequently enough, and they don’t appear to have finalized the editorial mandate for the blogs yet. I quite like what Mint has done with its blogs, in terms of content.
— Linking out/Aggregating: I’ve said this before – content is a service. In the b2b space that we are in, you’re providing your readers with inputs that help them make better decisions. In that case, if you’re pointing them towards articles and stories that could be of use to them – why not? Would it hurt Dare to link to a site like VCCircle, which has excellent, relevant content? I don’t think any mainstream publications in India are linking out.
— A discussion forum: forums are grossly underrated, but if you get the right kind of community discussing issues, a site can take on a life of its own. Or even…imagine enabling a live chat session for selected entrepreneurs with mentors or VCs

What do you think Dare should do to increase interactivity?