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Editorially Joins Vox Media

The founders of Editorially—Mandy Brown, David Yee, and Jason Santa Maria—are joining Vox Product as we mark the next step in the evolution of our platform, Chorus.

We are a company founded by bloggers. The Editors-in-Chief and most of the editorial talent across our seven properties started out as bloggers.

This background is important to who we are. Unlike many media companies that delegated the web publishing problem to the IT department, we built a platform from the ground up by iterating with bloggers who knew how to tell stories and build communities on the web.

The best bloggers know the power of technology to alter media ecosystems and hacked their way to influence by understanding their audience. Bloggers expect less abstraction between what they create and what gets published. Bloggers use the medium to start and engage in conversations. Bloggers build communities. Bloggers keep their eye on the traffic dashboard. Bloggers have painstakingly grown an audience from nothing by personally distributing their own work in the same way they discover the work of others: through search and social platforms. We built our platform, Chorus, from this perspective.

But Vox Media has evolved dramatically from its pure blogging roots. We've entered new categories, explored new storytelling formats, expanded into video and actively experimented within and pushed the limits of the medium.

We approach product development like many technology companies, with a focus on user experience and an emphasis on rapid, data-driven iteration. Chorus enables our engineers and designers to efficiently build new publishing tools and experiences. Those capabilities empower our editorial and advertising teams to deliver powerful stories and experiences for our audience. With Chorus we have successfully launched four fast-growing media brands: SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon and Vox. We'll soon re-launch three more: Eater, Racked and Curbed. We've also used our platform to create and promote story-driven campaigns for many of the largest marketers in the world. Brand advertisers seeking to engage digital audiences crave the same platform-driven approach that is Vox Media's foundation.

While we are proud of the platform we've built and the achievements that Vox Media has realized as a result, we know there is much more potential. We have ambitious plans to expand Chorus's capabilities, including an increased focus on the publishing tools used by our editorial teams, our advertising partners and even the vibrant communities that assemble around our publications. On Vox Product we have a multi-disciplinary team of over 60 engineers, product managers, designers, support managers and operations engineers collaborating with our editorial and advertising teams to take up this challenge. We know that our pursuit of engaging products and a great editorial user experience requires ongoing investment in talented people and new technology.

With all that in mind, today we're announcing that Mandy Brown, David Yee and Jason Santa Maria, the founders of Editorially, are joining the Vox Product team.

They share our passion for user-centric media design and technology. Editorially was an authoring platform that was a huge hit with its passionate users by focusing on the problem of web-based collaborative writing and editing. They put an emphasis on user experience, easy to understand editorial version control tools and multi-platform, responsive capabilities. In the last two years Mandy, David and Jason have learned invaluable lessons about how to approach these ideas.

The team brings a wealth of experience to the table: In addition to her role as creative director at W. W. Norton & Company and product lead at Typekit, Mandy is co-founder of A Book Apart and a former contributing editor at A List Apart. David was Chief Architect at 20x200 and helped build content management systems at Hearst. Also a cofounder of A Book Apart, Jason was creative director of A List Apart and Typekit. His graphic design clients include WordPress, Chicago Tribune, PBS and Miramax Films. Coming full circle, the individually art-directed articles on his personal site served as the direct inspiration for our own approach to longform feature design that we applied first on The Verge and eventually across all of our sites. All three are also well-respected writers and active members of the web development community.

Mandy, David and Jason will help us realize the larger potential of Chorus by taking up lead design and development roles and working directly to shape our authoring, editing and publishing workflow products. They have experience creating an open authoring platform and share a common vision for how Chorus can evolve to serve a broader set of users. Eventually we expect them to be involved across many other projects that will benefit Vox Media's editorial brands, audiences and advertisers.

We won't be continuing the standalone Editorially service, but we have acquired the product the team built and the technology that powers it. We will explore ways to share some of that work with the community. Importantly, the user data created on Editorially is not part of the acquisition and won't be transferred to Vox Media.

It's been seven years since we first launched a few sports blogs on a shared platform. In that time we've built an audience of nearly 90 million monthly users by enabling a new generation of storytelling talent with a platform built for it and with it. Our team, now inclusive of Mandy, David and Jason, is incredibly excited and inspired to continue building great products to take advantage of this massive opportunity. We can't wait to see how Chorus evolves in the coming months and years.

Read more from Mandy, David and Jason on the Editorially journal STET.