Friday, August 1, 2014

Vox.com is Underperforming Relative to My Expectation

When I first heard that Vox.com had snagged nearly every one of my favorite bloggers (Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Brad Plumer, Dylan Matthews, Evan Soltas, Tim Lee, Sarah Kliff) I was obviously excited and anticipated a one-stop-shop for econosphere policy blogging. Several months into the new venture, I'm not super-impressed.

While it's certainly one of the better news websites out there, a couple of things bother me. One is the excess coverage of movie and television shows. It's a nice thought to try and expand the 'wonkblog' idea to other areas, but Vox's culture coverage isn't doing anything new in terms of analysis. And novel topics like visual art or fashion are left out.

Perhaps relatedly, Vox's best writers are actually not writing very much. I assume this is because the top bloggers--Klein and Yglesias--have taken on major editorial roles, but it really dilutes the site's concept. Instead of leveraging their incredible all-star team, more often than not all the top posts are from their second-stringers. By not showcasing Vox's superstars (by say, providing unique blogs/pages (they have these notebook things with and unreadable design)), they're selling themselves short.

The last point is that their website organization is a bit restrictive--but I think this will change over time (they're said as much).

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