It's been a turbulent few weeks for digital media. Out of everything I've read recently, two articles and a FB Live video really stuck with me. First, this profile of Topix from Inc., which details how the site grew quickly using a variety of clickbait tactics, got dinged by Facebook, and has staged a comeback by mastering arbitrage (and is currently ranked the 87th biggest site in the U.S. by Quantcast). Second, a Wired story about Bored Panda (tagline: The Only Magazine For Pandas), which similarly survived the last round of Facebook's algorithm purges and now reportedly makes more money than its founder knows what to do with (the New York Times has a similar story). And last, this Facebook Live video with Rebel Mouse founder Paul Berry (who is also a former Huffington Post CTO), in which he talks about the state of media broadly, and more specifically how he downsized his company to make it profitable, including getting rid of offices and having a distributed, global workforce.
I'm still unsure if these stories fill me with hope, or despair.
Editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen talked about why the HuffPost ended its joint venture in India: "This is a place where we felt like we wanted to invest and go in a different direction. We very much plan to remain in India as a publisher and continue to do journalism here." (LiveMint)
Meanwhile in Australia, HuffPost's JV with Fairfax is also officially over. (Mumbrella)
Cáfebabel is a fascinating European non-profit news site based in France that uses community for both reporting and translation/adaptation. (Nieman Lab via Delia Cai -- sign up for her newsletter!)
There's been a whole bunch of craziness going on with the LA Weekly recently. In October it was sold, then last week much of its editorial staff was fired -- and throughout, the new owners remained unknown. They've finally revealed themselves, and appear to be a bunch of guys from Orange County who don't think Los Angeles has "a cultural scene on par with New York or San Francisco." What could go wrong? (LA Times)