April 10, 2006

230% Growth: Happy Birthday Topix.net

by at 4:18 PM

The numbers are in ... and once again, March has proven to be an interesting month here at Topix.net. To wit, March '04 marked our public launch, and in March '05 we closed on our $64M deal with Tribune, Gannett, and Knight Ridder. This March the happy news was record traffic to the site. In any event, given that March seems to both come in and out like a lion here at Topix.net, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we've accomplished. Some of the highlights:

  • Traffic to the site has gone through the roof! 6.5 million uniques in March, up from 2.8 million in March of the year before. Plus we have millions more reading Topix.net through RSS and via our our commercial partners like Earthlink, AOL, and others.

  • The launch of citizen journalism on our site. This forum system -- with over 300,000 posts in just 4 months -- is becoming THE PLACE where folks across America go to not only discuss the news, but report the news on their own. (Check out the nifty map we put together to show where these conversations are taking place.)

  • Powering contextually related news on 177 newspaper sites.

  • Integration of incredible quality photos from KRT Newswire onto our site, categorized by our engine. These pictures are seriously great -- check out http://www.topix.net/photos/sports and http://www.topix.net/photos/sf.

  • A redesign that made reading the news on our site a better experience.

  • New featured placement partnerships with Forbes.com, BusinessWeek, all of the TKG papers, the Washington Post, and others.

  • Integration of CareerBuilder, Cars.com, ShopLocal onto our site, offering those valuable services directly to our users.

  • Adding 25,000 blogs to our crawl -- and not giving them second class citizen treatment on the site -- yep, on Topix.net and in our feeds your blog stories sit right next to NY Times stories, Wash. Post articles, etc.

  • Added local news for every Canadian city.

  • Turned our categorization technology to ad contextualization. Once we used our own secret sauce to program ads, not only did our click-throughs significantly increase, but also the commercial information we present to our users became MUCH more relevant. We monetize run-of-site inventory as much as 20X over the typical newspaper site.

Not bad for 20 folks in Palo Alto -- and that's just in the past year! We have all sorts of ideas on future things you'll see on Topix.net around the forums, personalization, new quality, etc. So you'll have to stay tuned. Full steam ahead for year three -- we're looking forward to next March!