Product and Feature Updates about Kinja
Product and Feature Updates about Kinja
Budapest // New York // Chicago 

Welcoming The A.V. Club (and a Chicago office) to Kinja

A big hello from the team here at Kinja. We have a few updates to share and a few introductions to make.

Today’s big news

The A.V. Club is now publishing on Kinja! This has been a massive effort that has been over six months in the making. You can take a look over at The A.V. Club and let us know what you think in the comments.

Uniting the Fusion Media Group portfolio onto Kinja allows us to build publishing tools and new revenue mechanisms that benefit all of our sites - whether that’s in support of our commerce business, our dynamic communities, or the stories that define the voice of our brands.

This most recent launch comes on the heels of the migrations of The Root and Splinter on Kinja in early 2017. (VerySmartBrothas has also joined Kinja as a vertical on The Root. We’ll be migrating over their archives this Fall).

And these new sites have been warmly embraced on the platform. In the past seven months, The Root’s traffic has grown by 142 percent. We can trace that massive growth back to a number of different factors, including the 10MM visits (roughly 20 percent of that growth) that has come from the voracious audience on the wider FMG network.

Moving The A.V. Club to Kinja allows us to introduce the writers’ best stories to new audiences that have a natural affinity for the brand, and allows a trending story to reach its widest potential audience without needing to lean on third-party platforms.

The single platform allows our business team to go to market with a unified advertising offering, and opens us up to easy-to-scale syndication deals for the entire portfolio.

FMG is a portfolio of the most beloved brands on the Internet, and very soon they’ll all be in one place.

Onion, Inc. and Kinja teams join forces

Historically, the Kinja Team has been composed of engineers, designers, and product managers in New York and Budapest. That all changed earlier this year when we joined forces with the Onion, Inc. product team and added the Chicago team to the Kinja roster. Now we have more firepower to scale the Kinja platform to support the publishing and revenue needs for our ever expanding portfolio of sites.

Together we’ll support all sites within the growing Fusion Media Group: ClickHole, Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Splinter, Fusion, The A.V. Club, The Onion, and The Root.

(PS: We’re also a growing team, check out all open positions here).

So, what’s new?

In addition to the work porting over the archives of the FMG properties onto Kinja, we’ve been enhancing the platform to support the Onion, Inc. teams and the network of sites already publishing on Kinja.

Dev Ops

We shut down (and packed up) our two data centers and moved the Kinja platform over to AWS. 

Fun fact: We chose a recycling company with a zero landfill policy, so there was no E waste generated by the removal of our systems.
Fun fact: We chose a recycling company with a zero landfill policy, so there was no E waste generated by the removal of our systems.

Off-Platform Content Discovery

We launched the Kinja sites on Apple News — and like Facebook Instant and Google AMP, comments are included.

Illustration for article titled Welcoming The A.V. Club (and a Chicago office) to Kinja

Asking you to please whitelist our sites

We believe that one of top priorities is creating a sustainable model for our journalism. And while we understand why many of our readers use ad blockers, it’s something that we’d like to discourage. The Kinja team has worked with our newsroom (and friends in business development) to ask our readers to whitelist us, an effort which has reduced the number of ad blocked pages by over 2.5%.

What a reader with ad block would see on Lifehacker
What a reader with ad block would see on Lifehacker

Bringing a strong voice to our brands

Each of our sites has its own distinct editorial voice. A regular reader can recognize if they’re reading Gizmodo vs. Jezebel vs. The A.V. Club. And while we benefit from the efficiency of supporting the network on a single platform with a single codebase, we’re aware that this can constrain the voice of each brand. Earlier this year, we launched a strong per-brand UI kit that is phase one of a long-term initiative to give each site within the network their own voice.

As we scale the platform, these stronger visual style guides will also help us communicate where content is coming from in the various recirculation modules across Kinja.

Phase one of our on-site branded elements
Phase one of our on-site branded elements

A more robust CMS

The A.V. Club is the third website we’ve migrated onto Kinja this year. Whether coming from a custom CMS or Wordpress, there have been workflow tools that Kinja didn’t support. Over the past few months, we’ve made a series of small upgrades to shave the rough edges off of our post creation process. Our favorite: A new image cropping tool! (Our newsroom has cropped more than 500 images in the past month).

I even cropped this screenshot.
I even cropped this screenshot.

It’s easier to find that review you’re looking for

Illustration for article titled Welcoming The A.V. Club (and a Chicago office) to Kinja

Reviews have always been core to the GMG properties and The A.V. Club, so it was an obvious project to take on in coordination with our combined newsroom and technology orgs.

We’ve added a review tool to Kinja that allows sites — check out The A.V. Club, Gizmodo, Jalopnik to start —to categorize their reviews in a way that makes it easy for our readers to find every wearable review that Gizmodo’s published, and a review for every episode of Game of Thrones season six from The A.V. Club.

So, there you have it. The A.V. Club is live, we’re now working arm-in-arm with the fantastic team in Chicago, and Kinja is bigger and better than ever. We can’t wait to hear from you in the comments.

COO and SVP Product at Gizmodo Media Group

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