HOME
          
LATEST STORY
What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 30, 2013, 10:39 a.m.

Press Publish 4: Trei Brundrett on how Vox Media has built a web-native media company with editorial ambition

Vox’s VP for product and technology talks about the importance of community, the value of long features, and the role of sponsored content.

It’s Episode 4 of Press Publish, the Nieman Lab podcast! My guest this week is Trei Brundrett, the VP for product and technology at Vox Media.

Vox is the publisher of the sports site SB Nation, the tech site The Verge, and video game site Polygon, and it’s one of my very favorite online media companies. I love that they’re ambitious on content — building a quality mix of short and long, user-generated and pro-generated, aggregated and original — and that they’re ambitious on technology. And they make money. To me, Vox feels like one of a very few online media companies that is both native to the web and invested in some traditional values about quality. They’re worth watching, even if you have no interest at all in sports, tech, or video games.

Trei started out in the world of politics and helped build SB Nation to the point that it could evolve into Vox. When Adweek named him to its Adweek 50 (“the people who make the machinery of media, marketing and technology hum”), this is what they said about him:

Under Brundrett’s direction, Vox Media has evolved into one of the most agile Web-based publishers. Building a proprietary content management platform, his technology powers the journalists of The Verge, Polygon and over 300 SB Nation fan-created media properties. Focused on functional and design-rich technology, Brundrett and Vox have pushed past conventional Web design with efforts such as StoryStream, which populates a writer’s updates in real time to provide an organized and intuitive history of complex breaking news.

We had a good, wide-ranging conversation about Vox’s evolution and where it’s headed in 2013. Give it a listen, and I hope (if you haven’t already) you’ll subscribe to Press Publish in the podcast app of your choice.

Listen

Download the MP3

Or listen in your browser:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Subscribe in iTunes

Subscribe (RSS)

Show notes

@clockwerks, Trei on Twitter
Trei’s resume
Vox Media
SB Nation, Vox’s sports site
The Verge, Vox’s tech site
Polygon, Vox’s gaming site
Vox Media 2012 By the Numbers (185 employees; 389,692 pieces of content; 35,412,480 comments)
Chorus, Vox Media’s proprietary backend
Vox Media’s product team blog
Markos Moulitsas
Jerome Armstrong
Tyler Bleszinski
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)
Ryan Gantz
Daily Kos
Daily Kos’ diaries
Trei in an Astros hat
Scoop CMS
Slashdot
Rusty Foster
“For once, Nick Denton seems pleased with Gawker’s commenting system”
Canal Street Chronicles, an example of a SB Nation community site
Jim Bankoff, Vox CEO
Content management systems
Nieman Lab stories on Jim Bankoff and Vox
An example of a SB Nation player page
An example of a Verge product page
An example of a Polygon game page
An example of The Verge’s product comparison tool
The Verge’s features page
Vox Product blog: “An inside peek into the Polygon design process”
An example of a templated, less-“designed” feature: “After Aaron: how an antiquated law enables the government’s war on hackers, activists, and you”
An example of a more designed feature: “For Amusement Only: the life and death of the American arcade
An example of a Verge review (of the iPad mini)
Source’s interview with Vox staff on building the arcades feature
A few videos from Vox Studios, Vox’s “in-house creative and production group” that does work for both editorial and business-side
An episode of “90 Seconds on The Verge,” the site’s daily video briefing
An episode of “On The Verge,” the site’s late-night-talk-show-style program, hosted by Josh Topolsky, with example of an integrated sponsorship from Ford (go to 45:50)
The New York Times’ Snow Fall package
An example of a SB Nation Storystream, on the Pro Bowl
SB Nation United, the site’s recent rebranding and visual unification
The Atlantic’s Scientology sponsored-content snafu
SB Nation’s Marines sponsored-content package
SB Nation user SDCat09, who has left 227,399 comments (at this writing)
“How We Moderate Here On SB Nation”
The Verge iPhone app
Editable comments
The Verge’s iPad mini liveblog
An example of a Vox review that’s been revised over time

Photo by @nivshah used under a Creative Commons license.

POSTED     Jan. 30, 2013, 10:39 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
What’s the right news experience on a phone? Stacy-Marie Ishmael and BuzzFeed are trying to figure it out
“Nobody has to read you. You have to earn that. You have to respect people’s attention.”
Come work for Nieman Lab
We have an opening for a staff writer in our Cambridge newsroom.
The newsonomics of telling your audience what they should do
At WNYC, a public radio station is getting more aggressive about telling people what to do: go vote, get more sleep, stay healthy. What happens when a news outlet starts talking about behavior change?
What to read next
686
tweets
Ken Doctor: The New York Times’ financials show the transition to digital accelerating
The numbers may look flat, but they contain a continuing set of ups and downs. Up next: executing on a year’s worth of launches.
496Controlled chaos: As journalism and documentary film converge in digital, what lessons can they share?
Old and new media types from journalism, documentary, and technology backgrounds gathered at MIT to share practices and discuss mutual concerns.
389Here’s some remarkable new data on the power of chat apps like WhatsApp for sharing news stories
At least in certain contexts, WhatsApp is a truly major traffic driver — bigger even than Facebook. Should there be a WhatsApp button on your news site?
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
WikiLeaks
ESPN
Instapaper
Groupon
ABC News
Tribune Publishing
Craigslist
Alaska Dispatch
Chi-Town Daily News
InvestigateWest
Publish2
PolitiFact