A New York Times article about Ezra Klein’s decision to leave his high-profile position at The Washington Post to start his own website got me thinking about the future of content distribution in media.
In the article Klein said he feels that the conventions of newspaper print journalism — with its commitment to incremental daily coverage — were reflected in publishing systems, which need first and foremost to meet the needs of printing a daily paper.
With the current model newspapers operate under not being good enough for Klein, I began search to find out why Klein saw better content distribution opportunities with Vox.
The thing that stood out the most in the New York Times piece was the introduction of Chorus, a content management system that the site uses. An Adweek feature had an interview with Vox’s content chief product officer, Trei Brundett, to learn more about the system. He mentioned that Chorus allows for more visual content. In prior lessons we learned that visuals help generate more page views. Everybody loves seeing more pictures.
Brundett also mentioned to Adweek that Chorus helps with choosing what type of editorial content to publish. As a writer myself, this would be an excellent service to have while attempting to generate my own article ideas. Sometimes when I am trying to come up with ideas it feels like I am taking shots in the dark. It is fascinating that Chorus has the ability to take out some of the guesswork traditionally found with generating quality content.
A Pennsylvania Gazette article showed that people who work with Vox believe the visuals given from Chorus are one of a kind, and far ahead of any other systems out there.
“In terms of tools for digital storytelling, it really is the best thing out there,” said Vox editorial director Lockhart Steele.
That is why Chorus has helped Vox transform into a $380 million company that draws on over 170 million unique page viewers each month according to Business Insider. Big time players such as Steele and Klein love playing with the visually appealing content management system.
“Vox is the first company I’ve worked at where editorial and product are true equals,” Steele told the Gazette. “When Edward Snowden released a huge cache of documents from the NSA and the writers wanted to search for particular topics, the engineering team performed a data analysis for them in less than two hours.”
With big-time journalists using Chorus to build new publishing empires, it is apparent that content management is a huge factor for the success of publications. It is imperative for major publications to build a solid content management system to not only lure in high end talent, but more importantly, help their articles successfully reach the target audience.