Online Journalism: eHow, Journatic & Narrative Science

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Online Journalism & Sausage Factories.

Published: July 17, 2012 by Aaron Wall in publishing & media


July 16, 2012 - 8:25pm

love the infographic, aaron.

July 18, 2012 - 12:53pm

"Hi _____,

First off, nice site. I was checking out the _____ section earlier this morning, really well done.

I'm heading FindTheBest's _____ division, we've built several comparisons (___, ___, _____, etc). Having just reached over 9 million unique visitors a month, we're partnering with industry specific sites to create a co-branded comparisons.

These comparisons drive significant traffic and provide pretty remarkable SEO results for our current partners. For example, we recently partnered with TechCrunch and now drive over 17k unique visitors a day to their domain.

I noticed _____ as a potential fit and wanted to learn a bit more.

Are you available for a call sometime this week?


July 18, 2012 - 4:02pm

I suspect Google has people thinking through the consequences (for news publishers) of these actions. If the consequences favor Google (as I suspect they do), then woohoo let them keep going until they lock themselves into a Google corner so only Google can save them (in exchange for some trades). Does Google have a news markeup scheme at the ready, to "ask" newspapers to voluntarily employ in their reporting? Does Google plan Google News to be the one daily paper of the future, fed by low-wage-earning "reporters" managed (for very little) by old guard newspapers? Sort of a plan to externalize the costs of managing employees and newsrooms to the old guard, while taking all the product of those efforts?

July 17, 2012 - 11:02am

I'm going to wait for Matt Cutts to fact-check this infographic before I embed it on my website :)

July 17, 2012 - 3:25pm

If you look at the main page for this infographic, it links to about 20 sources in a resources section.

July 17, 2012 - 6:50pm

You never seem to dissapoint! Love the graphic and the story it really tells.

July 18, 2012 - 9:02am

What a scathing Infographic!

I was wondering if the Online Publishers Association offers any gigs on FIVERR. Cuz I have a Pulitzer Prize worthy spun article (with 3 links embedded in it) already prepared that I would LOVE to run through their, uh, system.


Brandon C
February 6, 2013 - 12:41am

Hi Aaron,
My name is Brandon. I have been with FindTheBest since 2010 (right after our launch), and I am really bummed you posted this Infographic without reaching out to our team. We don't scrape data. We have a 40 person+ product team that works very closely with manufacturers, companies, and professionals to create useful information in a free and fair playing field. We some times use whole government databases, but it takes hundreds-of-thousands of hours to produce this content. We have a product manager that owns up to all the content in their vertical and takes the creation and maintenance very seriously. If you have any questions for them about how a piece of content was created, you should go to our team page and shoot them a email. Users can edit almost any listing, and we spend a ton of time approving or rejecting those edits. We do work with large publishers (something I am really proud of), but we certainly do not publish the same exact content. We allow the publishers to customize and edit the data presentation (look, style, feel) but since the majority of the content we produce is the factual data, it probably does look a little similar. Should we change the data? Should we not share our awesome content with as many users as possible? Not sure I can trust the rest of your "facts", but great graphics!

February 6, 2013 - 2:52am editorial staff of 40+ people is able to manage at least 497 different verticals? So each individual person manages 12 different verticals by themselves (if one doesn't count all the outreach and partnership buildings as part of editorial & one ignores the parallel sites for death records, grave locations, coupons & business information)? Google shows that they have indexed over 35,000,000 pages from, so this would mean each employee has "curated" about 800,000 pages (which is at least 200,000 pages a year over the past 4 years). Assuming they work 200 days a year that means they ensure curation of at least 1,000 "high quality" pages per day (and this is just the stuff in Google's index on the main site...not including the stuff that is yet to be indexed, stuff indexed on 3rd party websites, or stuff indexed on,, FindTheListing,,, or your death records or grave location sites).

Speaking of not trusting the rest of your "facts" ... how crappy is the business information for SEO Book on FindTheBest that mentions that our site launched in 2011, we have $58,000 in sales, and we are a book wholesaler. Thoughts?

I realize I am afforded the opportunity to work for free to fix the errors of your scrape job, but if a page is full of automated incorrect trash then maybe it shouldn't exist in the first place.

I am not saying that all pages on your site are trash (some may be genuinely helpful), but I know if I automated content to the extent you guys do & then mass email other sites for syndication partnerships on the duplicate content (often full of incorrect information) that Google would have burned it to the ground already. You guys likely benefit from your CEO having sold DoubleClick to Google in the past & are exempt from the guidelines & editorial discrimination that the independent webmaster must deal with.

I think you guys should worry about fixing the grotesque errors before worrying about "sharing with as many people as possible" but maybe I am just old fashioned.

Hundreds of thousands of hours (eg 200,000+) for 40 people is 5,000 hours per person. Considering that there are an average of 2,000 hours per work year, this would imply each employee spent 2.5 full years of work on this single aspect of the job.

Oh, and your CEO also famously stated “‘Human’ is dirty — it’s not scalable” ... I might have to use that quote soon. :D

February 6, 2013 - 4:05am

"You guys likely benefit from your CEO having sold DoubleClick to Google in the past & are exempt from the guidelines & editorial discrimination that the independent webmaster must deal with." Great quote and Applies to so many organizations that have a symbiotic relationship with Google. Another example is Ehow's spends it's SEO budget on Holidays for Google execs in the Bahama's. Shame we all can't afford that kind of "SEO".

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