The portal has become a "social news" website where users and staffers can post, vote for, tag and review articles.

The move emulates models such as that used by the technology news-oriented and others, but adds some twists and serves a broader, more mainstream audience.

The new portal will be available until July 1 as a public beta service from this week. It will complement its "social news" functions with features borrowed from community-focused web services, such as the posting of favourite website links, the creation of friends lists, and video upload and sharing. Users will have multiple options for subscribing to the site via RSS (Really Simple Syndication). will also have a staff of 'anchors' (eight full time and 15 part time) performing journalistic tasks, such as choosing stories to feature, commenting on articles and doing research and reporting about chosen stories. These staffers are called anchors because their job will be to provide a level of journalistic oversight, steering discussions and moulding content, but not editing the featured articles. They will also host chatrooms.

"We're basically taking social bookmarking and making it into social news and using meta journalism to do that," said Jason Calacanis, a blogging pioneer who is CEO of Netscape-owner AOL's Weblogs subsidiary.

Find - or begin - a discussion of this story in Macworld UK's busy Forums