Tag Archives: Quartz

Quartz Daily Brief

How Quartz has doubled its email signup rate

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Quartz’s Daily Brief, an email newsletter that surpassed 50,000 subscribers earlier this year recently changed its sign-up process, reducing friction and enabling a more seamless subscription experience.

The result is that Quartz, a business news site from The Atlantic, has doubled the rate of sign-ups.

When Quartz launched in 2012, it wanted to build an account framework that could handle all its future aspirations—personalization, geolocation, read-it-later, offline mode, annotations, user settings, and a variety of email subscriptions.

As it set out to build the account system, it only made sense to make creating an account a requirement for email signup. If it was going to eventually build in other functionality centered around a specific user, it made sense to have everything tied together, right?

This is probably the way most people get to such a problem: planning so much for what you might want to build down the line that you instead make the user experience less appealing for the functionality you have available right now. In reality, requiring accounts just slowed down the Daily Brief signup process for a lot of people, frustrated others, and turned many off from signing up entirely.

Near the end of 2013, Quartz decided to redesign the email signup and account registration flows in an effort to make them more appealing. But it quickly became obvious that the problem was not about the aesthetics. If Quartz wanted more email subscribers, it would have to make it easier for people to subscribe.

Quartz decided to break off the email signup process from accounts entirely. Accounts would now govern its annotations product and any other features down the road that truly demand an account.

Since it rolled out the new system on February 19, the daily subscriber rate has doubled, even on weekends when activity dips considerably. Users can now sign up via “in-stream units” or through the Daily Brief landing page. Of the people that view that page, a full 60 percent of them now go on to subscribe.

Read more here.

Quartz launch

Quartz hires new website developer

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Quartz editor in chief Kevin Delaney sent out the following staff hire announcement on Monday:

Micah Ernst starts today as our product engineering director. He comes from Time, where he was manager of web development and oversaw the recent relaunch of Time.com. Micah has led development of projects there including Time.com’s earlier responsive design and a Google Glass photo app for Life, and has deep experience in the Javascript and WordPress technology powering qz.com.

Micah earlier worked as a developer for marketing and academic organizations, and has an IT degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. While a student, he won the Verizon Fios Grand Tournament videogame competition, coming in first out of more than 6,000 players. One of Micah’s colleagues at Time reached out to me last week to praise him and say “You made the right choice.” Follow him on Twitter at @micahwave

With Micah’s joining, we’re reinforcing our top-notch engineering team and its ability to do more industry-leading work. We’re looking to quickly fill our expansion developer slot, and accelerate progress on projects including the qz.com refresh and new Quartz products.

Please join me in welcoming Micah.

Quartz launch

Unlikely data nuggets fuel Quartz stories

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Ben Cardew of The Guardian writes Sunday about Quartz, the business news site from The Atlantic.

Cardew writes, “But for Quartz, the Atlantic’s mobile-first business news site, the term denotes the kind of unlikely data nugget behind several of its biggest stories, part of a recipe that has helped Quartz to 5 million readers in just 18 months.

“And it isn’t stopping there: Quartz co-president Jay Lauf says the company has 10 million users in its sights after beating initial audience predictions, while Quartz is projecting a 300% rise in ad revenue this year. Summer 2014 will see Quartz expand internationally, with the launch of an Indian edition in June that will include region-specific content.

“Quartz was launched in September 2012 by Atlantic Media, parent company of highbrow US magazine the Atlantic, a 157-year-old title recently described by the New York Times as ‘the intellectual’s monthly.’ In 2010 the Atlantic returned to profit thanks to a modern-thinking, digital-first approach, including the dismantling of its online paywall in January 2008.

“Quartz aroused considerable interest with its combination of a mobile-first approach, an editorial ethos based on ‘obsessions’ – essentially a changing lineup of newsworthy topics rather than traditional news beats – and a business model that eschewed a paywall and banner ads in favour of free access and native advertising from a small number of bluechip companies.”

Read more here.

Quartz tablet

Making business journalism that doesn’t taste like medicine

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Delivering informative news and not making it taste like medicine is one of the key challenges of business journalism.

On Saturday afternoon, Kevin Delaney, Quartz editor in chief and co-founder, and NPR’s Planet Money’s Caitlin Kenney discussed different ways to innovate business journalism and make it compelling for readers.

Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at Arizona State University Susan Lisovicz moderated the panel discussion, which is part of the annual Society of American Business Editors and Writers, being held this weekend at ASU.

Kenney showed clips from Planet Money’s T-Shirt Project, where the NPR team followed the making of a cotton t-shirt through four continents and a global economy.

Planet Money hoped to raise $50,000 for the project. Instead, the team raised $600,000 — which Kenney said motivated her to fulfill the high expectations from readers.

“People were so excited about the project because they had helped support it, and they really felt like they were part of it too,” she said.

The story of the t-shirt was told through audio, video and graphics — an “inherently visual” medium that drew readers in.

Delaney also said that making stories visual, through charts or graphics, is key to sticking out in the streams of news content.

News consumption is increasing, but fewer than 40 percent of Americans have a regular news habit, Delaney said. Instead, readers wade in and out of the streams.

Headlines are another way to make stories stick out to readers. Delaney said he has reporters write their headlines before they write their story.

“It brings a focus to the reporting and writing of the article,” he said.

Quartz caters to the business elite, and Delaney said he doesn’t allow throat clearing or sports analogies — respect the readers’ time, he said.

And instead of beats, Quartz reporters have what are called “obsessions.”

“We want people to write about stuff that’s important but also interesting,” Delaney said. “A lot of that stuff falls between beats.”

Nowadays, there are more forms of innovative journalism and more competition, but Delaney said he welcomes it.

“It is the readers who will ultimately decide if we’re successful or not,” he said.

Maddy Will is a UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication student attending the SABEW conference on a Talking Biz News scholarship

Quartz tablet

Quartz seeks global news editor

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Quartz seeks an editor to lead its newsroom team and guide daily coverage with bracing creativity and ambition.

You would run Quartz’s global newsroom, assigning coverage, editing stories, and managing the bulk of our journalists.

We are looking for someone with an obsessive interest in news and compulsion to find the most original and smart approaches for tackling it. This person must lead through their energy and curiosity, and deftly guide Quartz’s journalists to produce the greatest work they could aspire to.

We are looking for someone who is excited about the experimental opportunities of digital journalism, while possessing a love of language, facility with data, and fluency in traditional reporting and editing methods.

We are looking for someone with experience managing a team of journalists and deep understanding of strategies and tactics for producing quality journalism that finds a broad readership online.

We are looking for someone with intense interest in the world beyond the country where they reside, as exhibited by time spent living abroad and foreign language fluency.

This role presents the opportunity to join Quartz’s talented editorial, design, and developer staff in building on their success and propelling the business news venture toward greater creativity and excellence.

To apply, please submit a resume or LinkedIn profile, a cover letter touching on what you’d bring to the core requirements of the role, and three links to work of your own or that you’ve guided others to create.

To apply, go here.

Quartz tablet

Quartz editor Delaney, publisher Lauf named co-presidents

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Kevin Delaney, the editor of the Quartz business news site, and Jay Lauf, the site’s publisher, have been named co-presidents of the Atlantic Media property.

Delaney and Lauf, who founded and have since led Quartz, have been promotedin recognition of the brand’s remarkable growth and success since it launched a year and a half ago.

“With these promotions, we are all but complete in installing a next generation of leadership at Atlantic Media,” said Atlantic Media CEO David Bradley in a statement.

Delaney joined Atlantic Media from the Wall Street Journal in 2012 as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Quartz, the company’s global business news brand.  He will continue to serve as editor-in-chief as well as co-president.  Previously, he was managing editor of WSJ.com, leading efforts that helped greatly expand the publication’s online presence.  Prior to that, he was a senior special writer at the Journal with postings in Paris and San Francisco. He began his career as a television producer in Montreal and New York.

“Kevin is as visionary a talent as I have met in my 15 years in media,” said Bradley.

As both co-president and founding publisher of Quartz, Lauf will continue to oversee Quartz‘s business operations.  Prior to his role at Quartz, Lauf led The Atlantic’s revitalization as its publisher. Under his direction, the publication attained its first profit in decades and transitioned The Atlantic to a “digital-first” brand.  In 2010, he was named Ad Age Publishing Executive of the Year and in 2011, he was Adweek Publisher of the Year.  Before joining Atlantic Media in 2008, Lauf was with Condé Nast and served as publisher of Wired.

Quartz now averages close to five million readers monthly, with nearly half of its readership outside of the US and a similar percentage accessing it via mobile and tablet devices.

Quartz tablet

Quartz seeks a business reporter

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Quartz seeks a reporter to help us commit acts of journalism with code.

You would be part of the growing Quartz Things team, which is chiefly responsible for our data-driven and visual journalism, from charts to interactive graphics to news apps. “Thing” is simply our catchall term for stories that break free of the traditional article format to convey information in ways that work better on the web. Developing those new storytelling methods—and empowering others to use them, as well—is the challenge of this job.

We are looking for someone with a background in one or more of these fields: frontend web development, systems administration, statistics, data science, design, writing, and information architecture. Don’t worry—no one covers all of that ground. We’re building a well-rounded team with a range of experience. Tell us what you would add, including skills that aren’t mentioned here.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and five links to relevant work. The links matter most.

Quartz is a business news venture of Atlantic Media at qz.com.

To apply, go here.

Quartz tablet

Quartz formally announces India launch

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Quartz, Atlantic Media’s business news website, announced Thursday that it will launch Quartz India this June with region-specific content and targeted native ads.

More than 40 percent of Quartz’s readers are outside the U.S., a level that has been consistent since its launch in September 2012.

India remains a top source of Quartz’s international traffic, it is a growing region for business news, and readers in the region are trending towards news consumption via digital and mobile channels. Given the small number of digitally native publications in the region, Quartz sees a strong opportunity for growth in readership.

“We saw an opportunity to serve our readers in the region even better with both our journalists around the world and an increased focus in India,” says Kevin J. Delaney, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Quartz, in a statement. “It’s a mobile-first region at a critical moment in its economic history—and we’re excited to deepen the coverage available to readers on their smartphones and tablets especially.”

Quartz will collaborate with Scroll.in’s team of reporters and editors in India to produce region-specific content for Quartz India. It will feature business, markets, and technology news and analysis, along with access to the full content produced by Quartz’s journalists globally. Readers in India will be able to access the region-specific version of Quartz via qz.com. Quartz India content will also be available to readers outside the region through the Quartz India view.

Quartz, launched in 2012, covers global business topics. Quartz has more than 25 journalists around the world. Quartz surpassed 5 million unique visitors in January and is tracking to be up more than 400 percent over the first quarter of 2012 in terms of advertising revenue.

Quartz launch

Quartz plans to launch India site later this year

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Quartz, the business and financial news site from The Atlantic, is planning an Indian site to launch later this year, reports Joe Pompeo of Capital New York.

Pompeo writes, “Capital has learned that Quartz is preparing an India channel to launch this spring or summer, possibly around the time of the country’s national elections in April and May. The site’s parent company, Atlantic Media, is expected to announce the project, which we’re told will consist of larger, India-specific features, as early as this week.

“A Quartz spokesperson confirmed the plans but wasn’t able to offer any further details other than to say there will be journalists devoted to the channel full time and that they are still deciding on a name. The spokesperson could not confirm whether or not there will be a local media partner but did say there will be a ‘major sponsor’ at launch.

“The move reflects a growing interest among Western outlets in the Indian media market.

“The New York Times has been publishing its India Ink blog since 2011. The Huffington Post recently announced plans to add India to its growing stable of international editions. And The Guardian is contemplating an Indian operation as well, according to a source with knowledge of its plans. (A Guardian rep said it was too early to comment on the specifics of its future international expansion plans, but chief executive Andrew Miller hinted at an India play last fall.)”

Read more here.

Quartz launch

Quartz seeks lifestyle reporter

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Quartz, the business news website from The Atlantic, is seeking a full-time Lifestyle Reporter to define and execute a framework for lifestyle coverage that is smart, creative, digital, and global, and implementing it on a daily basis.

The position involves daily writing, and potentially some editing of freelance and staff contributors.

Key to success in this post is an obsessive interest in international lifestyle topics and talent for writing about them with flair and creativity at the pace of a digital newsroom.

For a full description and to apply, click here.