Jim Spanfeller on Editing Forbes.com

Question: What is the editorial process at Forbes.com?

 

Spanfeller:    It’s a 24/7 type of operation.  We’re publishing 5,000 stories a day.  Now clearly we don’t write of 5,000 stories but they are made up in roughly 3 or 4 different buckets.  Obviously, the first bucket is the most important bucket, ones that are written… write it, are written by our staff.  It’s a staff of full time and part-time online people that was originally 375 journalist will now combined the offline and online staffs together, so we’re pumping around 700 journalist that are going to be reporting on some regular fashion throughout the course of a week or a month on the site and they all write a great many stories.  We then also have wire services which will contribute you know, the regular sort of what happen and when type of story then we’ll have contempt partners.  And at this point I think we’re up over 250 different contempt partners that will file to the site and fairly those filters that we placed on those partners are ones that make the selections that do appear on the site more Forbesian if you will.  But those partners arrange everything from a paidcontent.org to Oxford Analytica which is a company that reviews sort of the world economic and social political situation on daily basis and then everything in between.

 

Question: What is your most popular content?

 

Spanfeller:    So, we use web analytics to measure our web traffic every minute of the day and in fact we’re looking at that in our intraday basis.  We’re looking at it from a daily snap shot with good staff snapshot and mostly staff snapshots as well but fundamentally you know, the editors are constantly reviewing that and making decisions base upon that in terms of what goes where in terms of placements.  The popularity will range and vary depending what’s happening in the world.  So, as you might guess, you know, around the middle of September of last year through now, there’s been a higher degree of interest in finance stories and in market stories.  Although there was interest before but it was just spite as you’ve seen you know, the world sort of implode and explode and then hopefully rebound over the last you know, 6 to 18 months depending on how value and will feel about it.  Other times, we’ll have an idea that will you know, make news so when we do one of our major list, one of the rich lists or one of our celebrity lists, you’ll see huge traffic around that.  And the other times it would be you know, as it relates to news today, if a companies had a major announcement or a major breakthrough or hopefully not but if it goes through some serious issues, there’ll be a permanent traffic around stories about that happening.

The CEO describes a sophisticated editorial approach that produces thousands of stories a day.

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less