Topix Broadening Content to Widen Appeal

TechCrunch picked up what Topix CEO Chris Tolles characterized as a “throwaway” press release announcing the addition of content feeds from several partners. These deals were done awhile ago and Tolles told me that they flipped the switch on them at once.

The new content broadens the site and creates new reasons, beyond news, to go there. It’s not clear how much farther Topix will push into this new “local portal” direction. Tolles also mentioned there’s a redesign coming soon that will improve usability of the site and do more to expose content.

Tolles said that Topix may have content similar to other sites but is differentiated by its growing traffic and its national-local footprint. It’s also differentiated by the high level of engagement (comments/forums) of its users.

Topix is one of the more interesting sites in local and Tolles is certainly one of the more interesting and opinionated CEOs (who, incidentally, is talking more like a publisher of a news publication these days than he used to).

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One Response to “Topix Broadening Content to Widen Appeal”

  1. Chris Tolles Says:

    sigh.

    Perhaps a little too opinionated.

    When I was referring to the press release, what I meant was that the press never usually covers pure product announcements – no matter how good they are.

    While we have been storing these up to do the integration and redesign to take full advantage of this stuff, I’m pretty happy about what we’re doing here.

    As I mentioned to you, I was puzzling over the fact that we actually got a top tier piece of coverage out of this release — and my suspicion is that our audience and the growth of hyper-local was part of this.

    We don’t issue that many actual press releases, and there was a lot of work behind this — one of the larger amounts of engineering coming out on the surface here at Topix.

    I guess we also have a better marketing person now that we got rid of the last guy, too. 🙂

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