January 29, 2007

Building a Classifieds Network

by amy at 8:22 AM

Today, we announced we’re working with Tribune Interactive to power their online general merchandise classifieds.

Some of the press coverage is here, here, here, and here.

We’re pretty excited about the partnership, and are looking for more newspaper publishers to build out this classified network. So, the Topix.net team is in Las Vegas this week for the NAA Marketing Conference (Booth 521). Stop by to say hello.

The full text of the press release is below:

TOPIX.NET TO POWER TRIBUNE INTERACTIVE’S
GENERAL MERCHANDISE ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS

Partnership to build a nationwide, geo-targeted general merchandise classifieds network

PALO ALTO, CA and CHICAGO – January 29, 2007 –Topix.net, the leading news community on the Web, and Tribune Interactive, a subsidiary of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), today announced that Topix.net will power Tribune Interactive’s online classifieds for general merchandise advertising. The co-branded general merchandise classifieds launch in February with baltimoresun.com and will roll out across all 12 TI newspaper sites by the end of May.

“Topix.net is dedicated to connecting people to their local communities – whether through locally targeted news, local discussion forums or classified listings,” said Rich Skrenta, CEO of Topix.net. “We’re happy Tribune Interactive took the leading step, and look forward to working with many more publishers to expand the classifieds network.”

The Topix.net classifieds platform makes it easy for consumers to browse and place ads. It includes a simple photo-upload feature, geographic filters, fraud filters, and an email anonymizer to keep email addresses private. The Topix.net classified pages will be co-branded with individual Tribune Interactive news and information sites. The pages also include both free classified general merchandise ads placed via Topix.net’s technology and paid “featured ads” placed via Tribune’s online order entry systems and call centers. Tribune Interactive’s classifieds will appear nationally across Topix.net’s network of 32,500 local news communities, providing strategic distribution for the ads.

“Tribune Interactive has enjoyed great success partnering with national vertical sites such as Apartments.com, CareerBuilder, cars.com, and Homescape, and we believe partnering with Topix.net will enable us to provide our customers with a very competitive offering in the general merchandise category,” said Tim Landon, president of Tribune Interactive. “Topix.net provides TI with a solution for the general merchandise category that efficiently integrates our Web sites and call centers, seamlessly providing our customers with additional exposure for their ads.”


About Tribune Interactive
Tribune Interactive, a subsidiary of Tribune Company, manages the interactive operations of major daily newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday and their associated websites. National network sites owned with partners include CareerBuilder.com, Cars.com, Apartments.com, ShopLocal.com and Topix.net. With more than 50 websites overall, Tribune Interactive ranks among the nation’s leading news and information networks. The sites attract more than 14 million unique visitors per month.

About Topix.net
Topix.net is the leading news community on the Web, connecting people to the information and discussions that matter to them in every U.S. town and city. A Top 25 online news destination (Hitwise, November 2006), the company links news from 50,000 sources to 360,000 lively user-generated forums. Topix.net also works with the nation’s major media companies to grow and engage their online audiences through forums, classifieds, publishing platforms and RSS feeds. Based in Palo Alto, Calif.., Topix.net is a privately held company with investment from Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB). For more, visit www.topix.net.

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January 2, 2007

Topix.net Recruits Technology Veteran to Scale Up Network Infrastructure

by amy at 12:11 PM

Former Xerox PARC Researcher, Wes Irish, Joins Leading Online News Community

wes_irish.jpg

PALO ALTO, Calif. – January 2, 2007 –Topix.net, a leading Internet news community, today announced the appointment of Wes Irish to vice president of operations. Reporting directly to Topix.net CEO Rich Skrenta, Irish will be responsible for building the team and networking infrastructure to support the Topix.net site’s rapid growth.

“In 2006, Topix.net saw explosive growth in our news communities, with forum posts jumping from zero to more than 20,000 a day,” said Skrenta. “As we plan for continued growth in 2007, Wes and his team will be critical to the stability, scalability and success of our site. We’re pleased to welcome him to the Topix.net team.”

Irish brings to Topix.net a wealth of technical, operational, and business experience from more than 25 years in the technology industry. Prior to joining Topix.net, Irish provided networking, systems, and security consulting as president of his firm, Coyote Hill Consulting LLC. He also held positions of director of networking systems at Stanford University and interim director of network services at San Jose State University.

Previously, Irish spent nearly two decades in Xerox’s Corporate Research Group, mostly at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). While at Xerox PARC, he was a key contributor to many projects related to networking and distributed systems, holding positions of senior network scientist, network manager, and chief technologist of technical infrastructure and systems development.

Irish’s work at PARC led to numerous patents, publications, and awards, including the prestigious Xerox Team Excellence Award.

About Topix.net
Topix.net is the leading news community on the Web, connecting people to the information and discussions that matter to them in every U.S. town and city. A Top 25 online news destination (Hitwise, November 2006), the company links news from 50,000 sources to 360,000 lively user-generated forums. Topix.net also works with the nation’s major media companies to grow and engage their online audiences through forums, classifieds, publishing platforms and RSS feeds. Based in Palo Alto, Calif.., Topix.net is a privately held company with investment from Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) and Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB). For more information, visit www.topix.net.

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