||This article may contain improper references to self-published sources. (May 2013)|
The Verge′s logo, a modified Penrose triangle, and wordmark.
|Type of site||Technology news|
|Created by||Joshua Topolsky
|Launched||November 1, 2011|
|Alexa rank||748 (April 2014[update])|
The Verge is an American technology news and media network operated by Vox Media with offices in Manhattan, New York. The network publishes news items, long form feature stories, product reviews, podcasts, and an entertainment show.
The website uses its own proprietary publishing platform with extensive video content. The network's content is financed through advertising and sponsorship and is managed by its editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, managing editor Nilay Patel, and Vox Media's chief content officer Marty Moe. The site launched on November 1, 2011. The Verge won five Webby Awards for the year 2012 including awards for Best Writing (Editorial), Best Podcast for The Vergecast, Best Visual Design, Best Consumer Electronics Site and the Best Mobile News App."
Throughout the 2000s, AOL began to acquire websites in pursuit of a new ad-driven content strategy for the company. One of their first acquisitions was Weblogs, Inc. in 2005, a company that ran dozens of websites, including Engadget, a tech news website. According to Business Insider, Engadget "became the industry-leading gadget site", and AOL's "most popular and important media property." All Things Digital called it "one of the largest in tech".
Joshua Topolsky became Engadget's editor-in-chief in 2007, and was responsible for new efforts like The Engadget Show and their mobile app, and the site's continued growth. Animosities between Topolsky and AOL developed after AOL's September 2010 TechCrunch acquisition, when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington made several public remarks disparaging Engadget and Topolsky. When the acrimony between the two editors escalated in January 2011, AOL didn't intervene. The next month, an internal AOL editor training document called "The AOL Way", a new content strategy that prioritized profitability metrics, leaked to the press. The document leaked before Engadget writers and editors saw it internally. "The AOL Way" dispirited the Engadget staff and created an ideological schism between the two entities.
Topolsky and up to eight of Engadget's most prominent writers and editors left the company between March and April 2011 to found a new gadget site that would become The Verge. The other departing editors included managing editor Nilay Patel and staffers Paul Miller, Ross Miller, Joanna Stern, Chris Ziegler, Justin Glow, and Dan Chilton. In early April 2011, Topolsky announced that their unnamed new site would be done in partnership with sports news website SB Nation, debuting some time in the fall. Topolsky lauded SB Nation's similar interest in the future of publishing, including their beliefs in independent journalism and in-house development of their own content delivery tools. Jim Bankoff of SB Nation saw an overlap in the two sites' demographics and an opportunity to expand SB Nation's model. Bankoff previously worked at AOL in 2005, where he facilitated their Engadget acquisition. Other news outlets viewed the partnership as positive for both SB Nation and Topolsky's staff, and negative for AOL's outlook.
Jim Bankoff, chairman and CEO of Vox Media has spoken publicly of the benefits of developing a consumer technology media brand and expanding Vox Media's reach. In an interview with Beet.tv he said, "All along, the SB Nation model as you know has been about sports and that continues to be our big push with great growth but when we thought to ourselves from an audience overlap perspective, from an advertiser overlap perspective what other categories could work well for us obviously consumer tech was another one". Bankoff also talked about his desire to attract other journalists and bloggers outside of the sports medium to Vox Media, merging Vox Media's advanced technology with 'outstanding' talent in order to aid growth and create a premier media company.
One of the key factors in Bankoff attracting the former AOL team to Vox Media was said to be their advanced content management system (CMS). Development of the platform is led by Trei Brundrett, vice president of product and technology at Vox Media.
This Is My Next
Following news of his untitled partnership with SB Nation in April 2011, Topolsky announced that the popular Engadget podcast hosted by Patel, Paul Miller, and himself would continue at an interim site called This Is My Next. Nilay Patel, former Engadget Amsterdam senior editor Thomas Ricker, and former Smartphone Experts editor-in-chief Dieter Bohn populated the site leading up to the official SB Nation-affiliated venture's launch. By August 2011, the site had reached 1 million unique visitors and 3.4 million page views. By October 2011, the site had 3 million unique views per month and 10 million total page views. Time listed the site in its Best Blogs of 2011, calling the prototype site "exemplary". The site closed upon The Verge's launch.
The Verge launched November 1, 2011 along with an announcement of a new parent company: Vox Media. According to the company, the site launched with 4 million unique visitors and 20 million pageviews. At the time of Topolsky's departure, Engadget had 14 million unique visitors. Vox Media overall doubled its unique visitors to about 15 million during the last half of 2012. The Verge had 12 former Engadget staffers working with Topolsky at the time of launch.
Reaction to the mark was mixed when the brand was first unveiled. One prominent reviewer, Armin Vit, co-founder of graphic design firm and media publisher UnderConsideration said that "The wordmark is ripped right off Herb Lubalin’s playbook, typeset in a modified version of his own ITC Serif Gothic (Heavy) and then pimped with a ligature, just like Lubalin did in a 1978 ad [...] The icon isn’t that original either, it capitalizes on the ambiguous triangle trend that populates the pages of ffffound but, in its defense, it doubles as a "V" monogram so I’ll allow it. There is nothing wrong with mining the past, especially the 1970s-Herb-Lubalin past, as long as something new is being contributed or a clever twist applied. Here it’s just repetition". Joshua Topolsky later commented on a blog post explaining the philosophy behind the branding, comparing it "with the kinds of books and magazines I’m extremely fond of (and collect) — pulp sci-fi from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. I wanted to bring some sense of that ethereal, psychedelic weirdness to what we’re doing".
On September 30, 2011, Joanna Stern released one of the first video reviews branded with The Verge logo and styling. The video style relies heavily on 3D text and graphics to support the review. Text is made to look as though it is "floating in space" rather than a simple overlay as is often the case in videos of this type. 3D lines accompany the text and connect it to the review unit to illustrate size or pinpoint particular features. This video style is thought to have been developed by Billy Disney.
On May 8, 2013, editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky unveiled Verge Video, a new site that has the entire video backlog from The Verge.
Product database and articles
The Verge hosts a product database which allows readers to compare product specifications and research product availability.
The site's team publishes product reviews for consumer items. Personal computers and cellphones are perhaps the sites most reviewed products. Items receive a "Verge Score" out of 10.0, precise to one decimal place (e.g. an item may receive a score of 7.3). Users can also submit reviews for products they own.
The Verge also publishes features, including interviews (with industry leaders and other technology journalists), editorials (about technology products, issues, and culture), and news items.
|Hosting||Joshua Topolsky, Nilay Patel, and Paul Miller|
|Length||Approx. 60–120 minutes|
|Debut||November 5, 2011|
|The Verge Mobile Show|
|Hosting||Chris Ziegler, Dieter Bohn, Vlad Savov, and Dan Seifert|
|Genre||Technology news, Mobile phones|
|Length||Approx. 90–120 minutes|
|Debut||November 9, 2011|
The Verge broadcasts a live weekly podcast. Like their previous podcasts, The Vergecast is fairly light in tone, with show hosts Topolsky, Patel, and Miller regularly falling off topic and discussing popular culture. Guests, usually from the editorial team, may often appear in the podcast and make contributions in their particular areas of specialization.
The inaugural episode was broadcast on November 4, 2011. Unlike many episodes of previous podcasts, it included a video stream of the hosts.
A second weekly podcast was introduced on November 8, 2011. Unlike The Vergecast, The Verge Mobile Show is primarily focused on mobile phones and hosted by Chris Ziegler, Vlad Savov, Dan Seifert and Dieter Bohn.
On The Verge
On August 6, 2011, in an interview with Edelman, Marty Moe, publisher and co-founder of The Verge, announced that they would soon be launching The Verge Show, a web television series. After the site's launch, the show was named On The Verge. The first episode was taped on Monday, November 14, 2011, with guest Matias Duarte.
The show is a technology news entertainment show, and its format is similar to that of a late-night talk show, but it is broadcast over the Internet, not on television. The show's first episode was released on November 15, 2011.
On The Verge is similar to The Engadget Show, an online program run by the technology news blog Engadget. After leaving Engadget, many from that team[who?] went on to create the blog The Verge. All episodes have been recorded in New York City. Topolsky, Patel and Miller have appeared as hosts in all episodes, which have included Topolsky interviewing a figure from the technology industry, the news industry, or popular culture; a product giveaway for members of the studio audience; "New Thing" where each of the hosts spends a short time describing a new piece of technology in his/her life, and a music segment where the show's DJ Trent Wolbe and a musical guest may perform.
Ten episodes of the show were broadcast, with the most recent episode going out on November 10, 2012.
On May 24, 2013, Editor-in-Chief Joshua Topolsky announced that the show would return under a new weekly format, alongside a new logo and theme tune.
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