The Verge is an American politically progressive technology news and media network operated by Vox Media. It has offices in Manhattan, New York. The network publishes news items, long-form feature stories, product reviews, podcasts, and an entertainment show.

The website uses its own proprietary publishing platform with video content.[6][7] The network's content is financed through advertising and sponsorship and is managed by its editor-in-chief Nilay Patel and executive editor Dieter Bohn.[8] The site launched on November 1, 2011. The Verge won five Webby Awards for the year 2012 including awards for Best Writing (Editorial), Best Podcast for The Vergecast, Best Visual Design, Best Consumer Electronics Site and the Best Mobile News App.[9]

History

Origins

Throughout the 2010s, AOL began to acquire websites in pursuit of a new ad-driven content strategy for the company.[11] One of their first acquisitions was Weblogs, Inc. in 2005, a company that ran dozens of websites, including Engadget, a tech news website.[11] According to Business Insider, Engadget "became the industry-leading gadget site", and AOL's "most popular and important media property."[11] All Things Digital called it "one of the largest in tech".[13]

Joshua Topolsky became Engadget's editor-in-chief in 2007, and was responsible for new efforts like The Engadget Show and their mobile app, and the site's continued growth.[11] Animosities between Topolsky and AOL developed after AOL's September 2010 TechCrunch acquisition, when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington made several public remarks disparaging Engadget and Topolsky.[11][15] When the acrimony between the two editors escalated in January 2011,[17][19] AOL didn't intervene.[11] The next month, an internal AOL editor training document called "The AOL Way", a new content strategy that prioritized profitability metrics, leaked to the press.[21][22] The document leaked before Engadget writers and editors saw it internally.[11] "The AOL Way" dispirited the Engadget staff and created an ideological schism between the two entities.[11][24]

We [Engadget] have been working on blogging technology that was developed in 2003, we haven’t made a hire since I started running the site, and I thought we could be more successful elsewhere.

Former Engadget editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, The New York Times, April 3, 2011[22]

Vox Media / SB Nation

Topolsky and up to eight of Engadget's most prominent writers, editors, and product developers left AOL between March and April 2011 to found a new gadget site that would become The Verge.[13][22][24] The other departing editors included managing editor Nilay Patel and staffers Paul Miller, Ross Miller, Joanna Stern, Chris Ziegler, as well as product developers Justin Glow, and Dan Chilton.[13][26][28] In early April 2011, Topolsky announced that their unnamed new site would be done in partnership with sports news website SB Nation, debuting some time in the fall.[26][30] Topolsky lauded SB Nation's similar interest in the future of publishing, including what he described as their beliefs in independent journalism and in-house development of their own content delivery tools.[26][28] Jim Bankoff of SB Nation saw an overlap in the two sites' demographics and an opportunity to expand SB Nation's model.[26] Bankoff previously worked at AOL in 2005, where he led their Engadget acquisition.[32] Other news outlets viewed the partnership as positive for both SB Nation and Topolsky's staff, and negative for AOL's outlook.[34][36][38][40]

Jim Bankoff, chairman and CEO of Vox Media, the owner of the SB Nation brand, said in a 2011 interview with Beet.tv that though the company had started out with a focus on sports, other categories including consumer technology had growth potential for the company.[41] Bankoff also expressed a wish to attract other journalists and bloggers outside of the sports medium to Vox Media.

Development of the Vox Media's content management system (CMS), Chorus, is led by Trei Brundrett, chief product officer at Vox Media.[42][43]

This Is My Next

Following news of his untitled partnership with SB Nation in April 2011, Topolsky announced that the Engadget podcast hosted by Patel, Paul Miller, and himself would continue at an interim site called This Is My Next.[26] Nilay Patel, former Engadget Amsterdam senior editor Thomas Ricker, and former Smartphone Experts editor-in-chief Dieter Bohn populated the site leading up to the official SB Nation-affiliated venture's launch.[45] By August 2011, the site had reached 1 million unique visitors and 3.4 million page views.[45] By October 2011, the site had 3 million unique views per month and 10 million total page views.[3] Time listed the site in its Best Blogs of 2011,[45] calling the prototype site "exemplary".[47] The site closed upon The Verge's launch on November 1, 2011.

On June 6, 2014, editors at The Verge and the @verge twitter handle began retweeting a Twitter account called "@thisismynext" which contained teasers for something "coming soon," leading to speculation that The Verge would revive the "This Is My Next" brand for a new project. On June 11, 2014, The Verge launched a new section on TheVerge.com called "This Is My Next",[48] edited by David Pierce, which aims to be a buyers guide for consumer electronics.

Official launch

The Verge launched November 1, 2011, along with an announcement of a new parent company: Vox Media.[3] According to the company, the site launched with 4 million unique visitors and 20 million pageviews.[11] At the time of Topolsky's departure, Engadget had 14 million unique visitors.[13][38] Vox Media overall doubled its unique visitors to about 15 million during the last half of 2012.[11] The Verge had 12 former Engadget staffers working with Topolsky at the time of launch.[3]

Circuit Breaker

On April 25, 2016, The Verge co-founder Nilay Patel announced the launch of a new blog dubbed Circuit Breaker with the slogan "The world's best gadget blog" alongside fellow co-founder Paul Miller. The purpose of the blog is to bring back "the best of classic gadget blogging into a new era" with the belief that with gadgets being everywhere in modern culture and many more coming to the market, a place to cover all news for modern gadgets is needed. Though The Verge already covered gadgets, Circuit Breaker is set to deliver more focussed content on gadgets.[49]

Design

The Verge logo was created by design firm Area 17 and features a modified Penrose triangle, an impossible object.[6]

Reaction to the mark was mixed when the brand was first unveiled. One reviewer, Armin Vit, co-founder of graphic design firm and media publisher UnderConsideration said that "The wordmark is ripped right off Herb Lubalin’s playbook, typeset in a modified version of his own ITC Serif Gothic (Heavy) and then pimped with a ligature, just like Lubalin did in a 1978 ad [...] The icon isn’t that original either, it capitalizes on the ambiguous triangle trend that populates the pages of ffffound but, in its defense, it doubles as a "V" monogram so I’ll allow it. There is nothing wrong with mining the past, especially the 1970s-Herb-Lubalin past, as long as something new is being contributed or a clever twist applied. Here it’s just repetition".[6] Topolsky later commented on a blog post explaining the philosophy behind the branding, comparing it "with the kinds of books and magazines I’m extremely fond of (and collect) — pulp sci-fi from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I wanted to bring some sense of that ethereal, psychedelic weirdness to what we’re doing".[6]

On September 30, 2011, Joanna Stern released one of the first video reviews branded with The Verge logo and styling. The video style relies heavily on 3D text and graphics to support the review. Text is made to look as though it is "floating in space" rather than a simple overlay as is often the case in videos of this type. 3D lines accompany the text and connect it to the review unit to illustrate size or pinpoint particular features. This video style was developed by Billy Disney.[6][6]

Content

Product database and articles

The Verge hosts a product database which allows readers to compare product specifications and research product availability.

The site's team publishes product reviews for consumer items. Personal computers and cellphones are the most reviewed products. Items receive a "Verge Score" out of 10.0, precise to one decimal place (e.g. an item may receive a score of 7.3). Users can also submit reviews for products they own.

The Verge also publishes features, including interviews (with industry leaders and other technology journalists), editorials (about technology products, issues, and culture), and news items.

Podcasts

The Verge broadcasts a live weekly podcast. Like their previous podcasts, The Vergecast show hosts Topolsky, Patel, and Miller regularly fall off topic and discuss popular culture. Guests, usually from the editorial team, often appear in the podcast and make contributions in their areas of specialization.

The inaugural episode was broadcast on November 4, 2011. Unlike many episodes of previous podcasts, it included a video stream of the hosts.[6]

A second weekly podcast was introduced on November 8, 2011. Unlike The Vergecast, The Verge Mobile Show is primarily focused on mobile phones and hosted by Chris Ziegler, Vlad Savov, Dan Seifert and Dieter Bohn.[6][6]

The Verge's What's Tech podcast was named among iTunes's best of 2015.[59]

Video content

On The Verge

On August 6, 2011, in an interview with Edelman, Marty Moe, publisher and co-founder of The Verge, announced that they would soon be launching The Verge Show, a web television series. After the site's launch, the show was named On The Verge. The first episode was taped on Monday, November 14, 2011, with guest Matias Duarte.[6]

The show is a technology news entertainment show, and its format is similar to that of a late-night talk show, but it is broadcast over the Internet, not on television. The show's first episode was released on November 15, 2011.

On The Verge is similar to The Engadget Show, an online program run by the technology news blog Engadget. After leaving Engadget, many from the show's team went on to create the blog The Verge. All episodes have been recorded in New York City. Topolsky, Patel and Miller have appeared as hosts in all episodes, which have included Topolsky interviewing a figure from the technology industry, the news industry, or popular culture; a product giveaway for members of the studio audience; "New Thing" where each of the hosts spends a short time describing a new piece of technology in their life, and a music segment where the show's DJ Trent Wolbe and a musical guest may perform.

Ten episodes of the show were broadcast, with the most recent episode going out on November 10, 2012.[7]

On May 24, 2013, Editor-in-Chief Topolsky announced that the show would return under a new weekly format, alongside a new logo and theme tune.[7]

Verge Video

On May 8, 2013, editor-in-chief Topolsky launched Verge Video, a site that contains the video backlog from The Verge.[7]