Articles about "Business Insider"


Mashable headquarters. (Image courtesy Mashable)

Mashable, too, heads to Europe

Mashable headquarters. (Image courtesy Mashable)

Mashable headquarters. (Image courtesy Mashable)

Ask Mashable Executive Editor Jim Roberts about his plans for the future and he says — with tongue planted firmly in cheek — that he’s looking to achieve “global domination.”

That may seem ambitious for the top editor of a news organization that until this year had not expanded outside the U.S, but Roberts is serious when it comes to growing the site’s international audience.

On Tuesday, the company announced it would open a London office in October, naming former WorldIrish.com editorial director Blathnaid Healy its U.K. editor.

“I think we’ve only scratched the surface of what we can hope to see in terms of building a global audience,” Roberts said in a phone interview. “The subjects that we focus on really do have global appeal, whether it’s climate coverage or technology news or the latest in digital culture, viral content, memes — these are things that don’t necessarily adhere to geographic and physical boundaries.”

Roberts’ claims aren’t just talk. Over the past 18 months, Mashable — helped along by a $14 million infusion of capital — has doubled in size, adding 70 employees to its staff of 70. In June, the company announced its first international expansion, appointing former news.com.au multimedia editor Jenni Ryall Australian editor. In March, the company opened a Los Angeles office to better cover the entertainment industry. Earlier this month, Mashable moved to larger offices in New York City’s Flatiron district to accommodate its growing staff.

Mashable chose London because it’s a prime market for advertising, with a ready-made audience, said Seth Rogin, the company’s chief revenue officer.

“Mashable views the world from the lens of the Web and London is a supremely savvy and cultured place,” Rogin said in a phone interview. “It makes sense for us to be there.”

Staffers at the London office will have a threefold mandate, Roberts said. They will be charged with creating content relevant to the UK as well as Mashable’s general audience. They will report on regional stories of international import, such as the recent Scottish independence referendum. And they will also be a part of the company’s global editing team, charged with pushing out news 24/7.

Ultimately, the plan is to create a bureau that provides news, features, entertainment to a growing audience without losing sight of Mashable’s trademark tech coverage, Roberts said.

The online news organization’s dramatic growth roughly coincided with a couple of hires from legacy companies. Roberts, formerly executive editor of Reuters digital, was brought aboard in October. Rogin, formerly vice president of advertising at The New York Times, was hired in June 2013.

When he arrived at Mashable, Roberts says he brought with him a desire to cover stories of international import, including the turmoil in Ukraine, the rise of the Islamic State group and the turbulance in Gaza.

“One of my goals was to try to put us on a sound footing for stories people were paying attention to,” Roberts said.

He isn’t alone in this regard. With its expansions abroad, Mashable joins a growing list of other Web-focused news organizations with international ambitions:

  • In August, BuzzFeed announced it was expanding to Berlin, Mexico City, Mumbai and Tokyo.
  • Earlier this month, Politico announced a joint venture in Europe with Berlin-based media company Axel Springer.
  • Vice Media, fresh from a $500 million investment round from A+E Networks and Technology Crossover Ventures, is also increasing its footprint abroad with an expansion into India.
  • Business Insider is planning to launch Business Insider Europe, which will serve up “social-friendly content with a localized twist,” Ricardo Bilton writes for DigiDay.

But Roberts says he’s prepared to vie for international audiences despite the crowded field — not just with transplants from the U.S., but with any organization that draws eyeballs away from Mashable, including TV and radio.

“I think that I tend to view everybody as our competition,” Roberts said. “Anything that competes for somebody’s attention is our competition.” Read more

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Should publishers be taking better advantage of evergreen content in their archives?

For most publishers, less than 10 percent of June page views came from traffic to evergreen articles — stories that were more than three days old by Parse.ly’s definition.

Among the publishers included in the analytics company’s data: Upworthy, Conde Nast properties, The Atlantic properties, Fox News, The New York Post, Mashable, Slate, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, The Next Web and The New Republic.

Nearly half of the publishers see less than 5 percent of their web traffic attributed to content that is more than three days old, according to Parse.ly:

parselyevergreen

Unsurprisingly, Parse.ly found that topic-specific sites generally received a higher percentage of traffic from evergreen stories than breaking-news sites did. Upworthy doesn’t include timestamps in its stories, and many of Slate’s pieces are less time-sensitive than stories from The New York Post or Fox News and thus more likely to have a long shelf life of shareability. The mileage you get out of people coming across old stories varies a lot depending on what kind of content you have.

Parse.ly uses the data to suggest that publishers should actively take advantage of archive material, not just passively observe readers coming across it via search: “Integrating evergreen posts into your distribution strategies can attract and grow readership without having to increase editorial costs.”

New York Magazine and Business Insider

At Nieman Lab, Joshua Benton recently highlighted a 10-month-old New York Magazine piece that became the second-most popular story on the site thanks to the magazine posting it on Facebook “as if it were a new story.”

The story, “Why I’m Glad I Quit New York at Age 24,” naturally received lots of complaints on Facebook, but only one commenter, Julian Garcia, mentioned the fact that it wasn’t new: “You constantly post this article.”

Readers might not care so much about newness if a timeless feature or essay is good, but there’s certainly an expectation that most of what you see on Facebook is new news. It’s called the News Feed, after all, so transparency when it comes to old stories seems important. Then again, I wonder if the Facebook post would have taken off like it did and reached so many interested readers if it had come with a “from the archives” disclaimer. Would it have biased readers against reading a story they’d otherwise be interested in?

Here’s a good example from Deadspin, which identified a news hook for sharing an old story on Friday. The tweet is transparent about when the story was originally published, but the note about when it was published isn’t so prominent that it was likely to be a turn-off:

Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton also recently reported on how some media organizations are strategically resurrecting old content. He notes that Business Insider resurfaced a four-month-old story, “7 Reasons You Should Teach Your Children To Speak French,” for Bastille Day. That satisfies our journalistic urge to justify resurfacing old content with a current news hook. But Business Insider’s rationale for putting an October 2013 article about “How Sugar Is Destroying The World” back on the site’s homepage this month is less clear.

Bilton goes on to note:

The trouble comes when publishers confuse readers. Just look at the Business Insider story: Not only was it given a new timestamp on the homepage, but it was also placed among all of Business Insider’s legitimately new content without any special labeling. Someone visiting the homepage, unless they were surprised to see Perlberg’s name again on a new story, would not have any idea the piece was old.

Does resurfacing old content require a news hook?

In February, I noticed a 2013 Poynter post about the first season of “House of Cards” was performing well on Chartbeat thanks to search referrals. Because season two had just been released on Netflix, I felt comfortable sharing it again on Twitter.

But what about Roy Peter Clark’s defense of the Oxford comma, which was a big hit this year and certainly addressed a timeless topic? Would our readers feel deceived or cheated in some way if we pushed it out again in January without any specific news hook? Or would it be serving our readers well to strategically extend the life of this evergreen content and distribute it to those who may have missed it the first time around?

That’s how New York Magazine’s Stefan Becket justified reposting Friedman’s piece on Facebook:

On Twitter, journalists frequently preface links they share with a “late to this” disclaimer — even if the content is only a day or two old. My instincts say it’s weird to dig up old content without a specific reason, but it’s worth asking if our hyper-sensitivity to timeliness can get in the way of serving readers who might not care as much about news hooks or newness as we do.

So on a slow day, why not try sharing something evergreen from the archives like New York Magazine did — but with a Deadspin-style note indicating when it was published — and see how readers respond? As Parse.ly says, it doesn’t cost a thing.


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Publishers resurface evergreen content; Thailand’s the place to be for drone journalism

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

— New York magazine is posting old content to its Facebook page, and Business Insider is doing so on its homepage, according to Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton. How timestamp-transparent should publishers be when resurfacing evergreen stories?

— Drone journalism won’t take off in South Africa or the U.S. anytime soon, according to Sydney Pead at PBS MediaShift. But in Thailand, “it’s considered a hobby” — and easier than playing Playstation 3.

— A new Twitter bot called @congressedits tracks Wikipedia edits from computers on Capitol Hill. David Uberti looks at six of the recent edits at Columbia Journalism Review. Read more

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Morning media roundup: Anonymous sources, FOIA ‘terrorism,’ Chelsea Clinton’s salary

Twice in the last two weeks, New York Times reporters got burned by anonymous sources, Jack Shafer writes. The Times and The Washington Post “tend to rely more heavily on” anonymous sources “than other print outlets” — “In the past four days, the Post cited unnamed sources in at least 18 pieces and the Times did the same in 17 stories ranging from the Iraq civil war to a smartphone app that predicts what a user will type next.”

• “I have nothing against anonymous sources who help guide reporters toward the verifiable — I just draw the line at routinely printing what they say,” Shafer writes.

10 MEDIA STORIES

  1. Jason Leopold was a sloppy journalist who realized that FOIA scoops meant “no one sharing it had to worry about whether they could trust the person who had unearthed the documents; they only had to trust the documents themselves.” Jason Fagone writes a fascinating profile of a self-described “FOIA terrorist.” (Matter)
  2. Former employees at the Salt Lake Tribune have filed suit to suspend changes to the newspaper’s joint operating agreement with the Deseret News. “The group argues the agreement gives the Tribune too little revenue to publish its print edition long-term and also jeopardizes its website, which relies on print revenues,” Michelle L. Price reports. (Associated Press)
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‘Weiner!’ column debuts as the sidebar to his life

Business Insider | The Washington Post

Anthony Weiner made his Business Insider columnist debut Friday morning with “Weiner!”

You might be surprised to see me launch this column by defending a conservative like Gov. Chris Christie, but when it comes to his administration’s beef with Tesla Motors, I think he might be getting a bad rap.

(I personally have a journalism pet peeve about the phrase “when it comes to” because when does it ever come to? But that’s another story, I suppose.)

On Thursday, Richard Leiby wrote for The Washington Post about Weiner’s column and the politically-disgraced who’ve come before him. They may go on “Dancing With the Stars” or take up lobbying, or they could write for a living. Read more

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Kiev or Kyiv? Let’s choose already

Financial Times | Business Insider | Reuters

Kiev/Kyiv on Wednesday, March 5. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

My editor and I have had this discussion several times lately. Which one? Kiev or Kyiv? We don’t write Roma for Rome, but we do now write Mumbai rather than Bombay. And really, there’s not a lot of difference between the pronunciation of Kiev and Kyiv, at least when I read them.

On Friday, Ben Aris wrote about this orthographic challenge for Financial Times, noting that the White House switched to Kyiv on Thursday.

In addition, the President has signed an Executive Order that authorizes sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine; contributing to the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine; or purporting to assert governmental authority over any part of Ukraine without authorization from the Ukrainian government in Kyiv. This E.O. is a flexible tool that will allow us to sanction those who are most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine, including the military intervention in Crimea, and does not preclude further steps should the situation deteriorate.

In a press briefing from Jan. 23, it was Kiev. Read more

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Future of Digital: Business Insider’s crystal ball

Business Insider

In case you missed it, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget and its BI Intelligence research service distilled a slew of digital trends for its Ignition event earlier this month, trends that news organizations might ponder and act on.

In a slide deck posted Nov. 12, the news site identified these major movements in the marketplace: Read more

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos leads $5 million Business Insider investment

Business Insider | Bloomberg

Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget has revealed Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is a principal contributor to a pool of $5 million in venture capital for the business-news website.

Blodget revealed the news to employees in a Friday memo: Read more

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Business Insider will launch Indian edition

Times Internet, which publishes The Times of India, will provide local editorial know-how to the site, which will launch this summer, a release says.

Business Insider launched an Australian edition Monday.

Full release follows: Read more

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man holding blank paper isolated on white

Two questions that guide aggregation etiquette

Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey was getting a little tired of Business Insider aggregating his site’s best work and reaping big traffic from it. So he ran some numbers.

Morrissey writes that over the past year his website received 8,713 visits and 14,379 pageviews from Business Insider aggregated posts, while the BI site reaped over 90,000 views. Roughly a 5:1 pageview ratio from aggregator to creator.

“Is this a fair trade?” he asks.

What ensued was a long back-and-forth on Twitter between Morrissey and Business Insider founder Henry Blodget. You should read it for all the context, but basically this dispute (and the others that arise over aggregation from time to time) seems to pivot on two major questions. Read more

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