“Every writer on Slant is a salesman of his own creation,” Gutterman said. Writers learn how to utilize their own social networks to distribute the content. Although Slant News has its own Facebook page, “Sometimes the largest distribution comes not from us but the writer.”
Slant tries to set up its writers for success by using what Gutterman terms “social editing.” The Slant platform offers suggestions as the writer creates the story to make it more successful on social platforms. Then, Slant’s team edits it by hand before posting.
After a story posts, writers can look at analytics to see how their work performs and get tips for how to distribute their stories better.
Slant News’ strategy is to go for the scrappy, undiscovered stories that might not get play elsewhere. An interview with the Green Party candidate for president, Jill Stein, performed well in part because of the boost it received from the candidate’s social network. Gutterman also believes that the diversity of the writers on Slant – over half women and half people of color – will make it a go-to destination for unique perspectives.
While Slant plans to continue outreach to grow its US writer base in 2016, it also wants to diversify geographically, adding in other countries and other languages.
If Gutterman has her way, Slant will become a place not only for news commentary but also for lifestyle content, like recipe collections, and even breaking news – a way for passersby who capture breaking news with cell phones to become citizen journalists.