Leveraging Audiences Through Vertical Content Channels

first_img“As for what kind of metrics we need to justify launching a new channel, I’m afraid I don’t view it in quite those terms. The question for me is whether the subject is editorially compelling and fits within the overall mission of The Atlantic. Certainly Health qualifies there,” says Cohn. “But it is also the case that we expect each of our channels to attract at least one million unique visitors each month. Health, in its first three weeks, already has exceeded one million unique visitors.”TIME is set to relaunch its Style & Design supplement (which folded roughly 18 months ago) in March of this year. The renewed section, to focus on international travel, cooking, decorating and more, will have a semiannual print version; a Style & Design channel will live on TIME’s website. The supplement and channel will be run by managing editor Rick Stengel. In response, major media outlets are creating easily found channels devoted to topics particularly relevant to their reader base. Here, FOLIO: speaks to The Atlantic, TIME and New York about how these opportunities were identified, and then how they were brought to fruition. Where the Traffic Goes The returning edition of Style & Design has a guaranteed rate base of 500,000, and the average reader will have a minimum household income of $125,000.Style & Design content will be updated daily on TIME.com. Kelleher tells FOLIO:, “This gives the high-end content that is distributed throughout the site a home; in the same way Swampland gives our political coverage a home, or Business gives our business coverage a home. It expands our vertical strategy on the website.” For many publications, finding a home for content can present a conundrum. Discoverability and relevancy are vital, as is shareability. Whether publishers convert to the new model, or choose to only pay lip service to fast-forming conventions, readers are still less than willing to conduct search after search for a topic. Immediate gratification is a necessity, not a luxury, of the digital age. Cross-promotion is integrated into the editorial channels, but audience behavior often depends on the user’s relationship with the publication. “Our most loyal readers typically consume across multiple channels,” says Silberman. “But for newer users, we find people will consume in the vertical they came in.” New York Magazine launched “Early & Often” in December. The idea for the channel, a vertical space focused exclusively on political coverage, began to form in summer 2011. The opportunity was solidified when NYMag.com experienced its largest traffic day on November 21, “…with nearly 800,000 daily unique visitors, thanks to several strong political stories,” according to the company.center_img The team at TIME counts audience, as well as advertiser, opportunity among reasons to give Style & Design another shot.“We wanted to cater to a very specific audience, targeting the global thought leader, the traveler, someone who’s taking on the world,” says TIME worldwide publisher Kim Kelleher. “This gives us an opportunity to work with not only new advertisers in the prestige market, but also a new outlet for our international advertisers that support TIME in our European and Asian editions looking to dip their toe in the brand in the United States.” Cohn maintains that expanded advertising opportunity was “important, but not a driving factor” in the decision to launch the new vertical. Reviving Strategy to Better Serve Audiences (and Advertisers)The Atlantic recently debuted it Health Channel, a vertical site comprised of content previously rolled into its now defunct Life Channel. The Health Channel went live on December 13, with its editorial operations led by Nicholas Jackson (who was previously involved with the Life Channel, and helped start the Technology Channel). It is the seventh vertical content site now living on Theatlantic.com.Bob Cohn, editorial director of Atlantic Digital with Atlantic Media, says the choice to form the Health Channel was more than just a rebranding. “The Life Channel had some great topics under it, but because it was a somewhat vague channel name, there wasn’t a clear sense of how people were going to get there, and it ended up being a catch all,” says Cohn. “Health was one of the focus areas of the Life Channel.”Content living in the Health Channel will also be featured on the main page. Atlantic staff, as well as freelancers, will create content; partnerships, such as the one in place with MedGadget in “The Cutting Edge” promotion module on the Channel, will also provide content.“There’s every expectation that Health content will rotate as often or more often than other topics on the homepage. We’re hoping to drive traffic,” Cohn says. “Like most sites, we get the preponderance from our side doors, but the home page can still drive traffic.” Other influential metrics include the 50 percent traffic increase year-over-year in September 2011 from September 2010. Its News & Features section (which includes political stories, among others) had three million unique visitors. Its October 2011 News & Features traffic also spiked from October 2010, up 29 percent to 2.8 million unique visitors.New York’s online general manager Michael Silberman says, “We start by paying attention to areas where we’re seeing traction, whether it be editorial traction in terms of audience growth and interest, or advertiser traction, in terms of sponsor interest, or a combination of the two. Then we say, ‘There is an opportunity here, what can we do to further exploit it?’”An advertising opportunity also presented itself with the launch of “Early & Often” when The Economist Group broached a potential partnership through its Ideas People Media Channel. The transparent ad network is home to 50 plus sites relevant to The Economist’s, and now New York’s, audiences.“This brings in new advertisers that we aren’t necessarily calling ourselves in our normal ad sells efforts,” says Silberman.Current New York staff (which includes Frank Rich, John Heilemann and Noreen Malone) is supplying content for “Early & Often”. Silberman says social media for the channel is managed by an internal team that handles all of New York’s properties.“Early & Often” finds itself in the company of other NYMag.com verticals like Vulture and Grub Street, and the recently launched Wendy Goodman’s Design Hunting channel. “This is part of an overall strategy that we have identifying vertical content areas where we are starting to see some traction, and deciding what is the best way to take advantage of that; how big is the opportunity in terms of audience and advertising, and how much resource we should put against it,” says Silberman.last_img read more

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Senate demands Google CEO answer for hidden Nest microphone

first_img 2 Share your voice Tags Comments Google Alphabet Inc. Tech Industry The Nest Secure home security system Tyler Lizenby/CNET The US Senate Commerce Committee wants explanations from Google CEO Sundar Pichai about a recent controversy at Nest, the smart-home device company Google owns. Last week, the search giant drew criticism because its Nest Secure hub, a web-connected home security system, includes a microphone, but it was never disclosed in hardware specs, marketing materials or on Nest’s website. The microphone’s existence became apparent after Google announced earlier this month it was bringing its Assistant software to the Nest Secure. The Assistant, which lets people check flight information or turn off the lights in their houses, relies heavily on voice commands — and a microphone — when its on devices without screens. At the time, Google said it was an “error” that the microphone was omitted from the product specs. The company also said the mic has never been activated. But that hasn’t satisfied committee members, who wrote a letter to Pichai demanding more information. “Google’s failure to disclose a microphone within its Nest Secure product raises serious questions about its commitment to consumer transparency and disclosure,” the letter dated Feb. 25 says. “As consumer technology becomes ever more advanced, it is essential that consumers know the capabilities of the devices they are bringing into their homes so they can make informed choices.”  The letter demands Pichai follow up with the committee by March 12. The committee also wants an “in-person briefing” on the issue by March 29. The letter was written by Senate Republicans Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Thune of South Dakota and Jerry Moran of Kansas. Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the letter. The controversy comes as Google — and the rest of Silicon Valley — deal with broader scrutiny over privacy and data collection. Google has gotten blowback from lawmakers and the public for its use of data location on its Android phones, as well as the access it gives third-party software makers to read people’s emails on Gmail. The committee wants Pichai to specifically address six questions:Has a microphone always been a component of the Nest Secure home security and alarm system device?When and how did Google become aware that a microphone was not listed on the Nest Secure’s technical specifications available to consumers?What steps has Google taken to inform purchasers of Nest Secure devices that the device contains a previously undisclosed microphone?Please describe Google’s process for developing technical specifications for its products. At what stage of this process did the error take place that resulted in the omission of the microphone’s presence in the Nest Secure device? Has Google taken steps to prevent such an error from reocurring in the technical specifications for other Google products?Is Google aware or has Google ever been aware of any third party using the Nest Secure microphone for any unauthorized purpose?Is Google aware of similar omissions in the technical specifications for any other Google products?The Senate also points out that the undisclosed microphone leaves consumers vulnerable to spying from hackers.”Moreover, even if Google was not using the Nest Secure microphone to record any information or it was turned off by default, there is still risk that hackers or other outside entities could have activated the microphone to illicitly record information,” the letter says.  Nest has suffered other privacy controversies recently. Last month, a hacker infiltrated the Nest Cam security camera of a San Francisco Bay Area family by using a password obtained from a third-party breach. The hacker convinced the family that the US was under nuclear attack from North Korea. In December, another hacker took over the camera of a man in Arizona to warn him of security vulnerabilities. In another case that month, a hacker told a couple through the device that he’d kidnap their child.last_img read more

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Texas Officials Deny Any Cap On Special Education In Letter To Feds

first_img Share PexelsTexas officials denied they imposed any cap on special education in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education.The Texas Education Agency told federal authorities that it never created a cap on how many children with disabilities could receive special education services.At the same time, the state’s Deputy Commissioner of Academics Penny Schwinn said that the state will add new changes to clarify rules for districts, citing “recent confusion” over the special education indicator.The letter was sent after federal authorities ordered Texas last month to end its arbitrary benchmark for special ed, unless Texas could show no children have been denied needed services.The state agency’s strong denial of any cap stands in sharp contrast to a major investigation by the Houston Chronicle. It revealed that state officials could have set an arbitrary benchmark at 8.5 percent for special ed. Since then, special ed enrollment in Texas schools has plummeted. The state now has lowest percentage of kids in special education in the country. The national average is higher at 13 percent.In the letter to the U.S. Department of Education, Texas officials defended the data-monitoring system that allowed them to keep tabs on districts and their special ed enrollment. They also denied that the goal was to cut back on services for children with autism, mental illness and other disabilities in order to save money.Federal law says children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education.It’s not clear when the feds will respond. “The Education Department will carefully review the state’s response and, after the review is concluded, determine appropriate next steps,” said Jessica Allen, assistant press secretary for the U.S. Department of Education.In Austin, some state lawmakers are already gearing up to address the issue. Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has called for an immediate overhaul of special education in Texas.last_img read more

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Drape the nine yard wonder in different styles

first_imgNew Delhi: There are several ways of draping a sari which can make you look different and help you stand out in a crowd. Accessorise it with a waistband or team your sari with a jacket, suggest experts. Chantilly lace is used more in saris than any other type, owing to their classic, timeless look. It is advisable to go for pastel shades as they enhance that graceful look of a lace sari.Drape the sari as lehenga and pallu over a designer crop top. This is a modern look and is also very unique way of wearing a sari. You can accessorise with a waistband and minimal jewellery.Invest in a stitched sari. Slip in, zip up and simply pin the pallu as you wish as oit also saves time for some.A cross between the modern gown and traditional sari, a sari gown involves minimal draping and is pre-designed and structured to look like a gown, with a sophisticated pallu flowing across the shoulders gracefully. The look can further be enhanced with embellishments of karigari on the pallu.Rather than a lace sari, opt to pair a simple sari with a lace jacket. Jackets with embellishments and contrasting colours can help get a unique look.Apart from saris, lace blouses can add a lot of slinky charm to your sari, when teamed perfectly. Its intricate beauty can infuse glamour to a sari. To get it perfect, go for a full-sleeve lace blouse or a cut work blouse especially if you are opting for a fancy bash or then opt for chinese collars or boat necks for the casual outtings.When wearing a lace outfit the accessories need to be very subdued whereas the the make-up needs to be very distinct and the blouse can be of contrasting colour. Classic colours like black and red are best suited for lace outfits.Experiment with silhouettes fabrics and make unusual combinations of it.last_img read more

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