Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive: New MSNBC.com-BermanBraun Online Political Site BLTWY Launches

While it seems to be a stealth launch, the new online political site for MSNBC.com, created by Hollywood production firm BermanBraun, is now up and running.

Called BLTWY–as in “Beltway,” presumably for the road that rings the nation’s capital–the striking rich-media content site is now live. (You can see it above.)

BLTWY seems to follow along the sweeping horizontal wall and extensive use of larger photos and videos that characterize BermanBraun’s popular Wonderwall celebrity site.

In May, BermanBraun and MSNBC announced the collaboration in a blog post, noting:

“Politicians have now become part of popular culture, and de-facto celebrities, attracting considerable media attention. BermanBraun and the Msnbc Digital Network announced a partnership to create an original destination site which will go beyond policy and polls to explore the celebrity side of politics…It will take you inside the beltway to explore the lives of politicians as celebrities, giving politics the Wonderwall treatment.”

BLTWY is definitely aimed at meshing celebrity and politics and has a lot of interactive elements, such as polls and Facebook Connect.

In fact, the main feature at the moment is a diva depiction of the Supreme Court.

The slick site also appears to be developed in HTML5, rather than using Adobe (ADBE) Flash technology and fits to the entire screen with the homepage remaining in a persistent manner.

BermanBraun has already created several sites for Microsoft (MSFT) and its online properties. Wonderwall debuted in 2009 on its MSN portal, where its women-focused Glo also resides.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google