2010 Best of the Web: New Site

04/28/2010

IAC/InterActiveCorp (Co-Winner)
The Daily Beast

Last year Tina Brown demonstrated once again that content matters. While many scoffed at the arrival of yet another blog-oriented news site, the collection of talent at Daily Beast won over critics—and certainly readers. From Christopher Buckley to Scott Turow, Eric Alterman to Douglas Rushkoff, the writing and the scoops—and the smartly designed galleries—all embody the traditions of magazine publishing more than many sites that are attached to print media.
The marquee of feature content is always fresh and attractive. The Cheat Sheet of breaking news is thoughtfully triaged. The sections for books and fashion and art each tweaks the overall DB style without losing the brand identity. Tina Brown and her crew have leveraged the TV and radio airwaves and now bookstores to proliferate DB commentary, and the Women in the World event this winter solidified the Daily Beast as a new media presence that demonstrates once and for all that the digital platform, brilliantly informed by old media sensibilities, can build powerful new content brands.

Meredith Corp. (Co-Winner)
Recipe.com

In a cluttered field where the recipes pile up literally to the hundreds of thousands, everyone needs an aggregator. For the Recipes.com launch, Meredith pulled together the best recipes from its own portfolio of magazine sites as well as select partners to create a best of the Web super-site for foodies. The site serves up each of these brands in a standardized way that serves both the interests of the recipe-hunter and the publisher. A strong search engine optimization approach ensures that a wide variety of women’s service brands find their way into the food search ecosystem.
In fact, the content partners are given up to seven links within their own recipe listings to use as marketing and merchandising opportunities. The user tools clustered around the recipe are unique, in that they point to local grocery specials associated with some of the ingredients. And by slipping Recipe.com into a Meredith network of sites, as well as the search ecosystem, the company has already delivered an exponentially growing audience for partners and advertisers. From a standing start of little more than 150,000 uniques last July, the site approached 800,000 uniques in four months. Recipe.com demonstrates the ways in which publishers are working in tighter, smarter partnerships to serve each brand well by lifting the category in which all of them compete.

Honorable Mentions:

Financial Times – Howtospendit.com: FT brings the newspaper color supplement to the Web and hit its very affluent target dead on with some of the most lush visions of how to spend one’s wealth we can imagine—or fantasize about.

MSP Communications – deltaskymag.com: Delta gives flight to the airline magazine concept by combining a vibrant and deep site that opens up the print publication category with real-time information about products, locales and topics that will pique interest on that flight to L.A.

Pace Communications – FourSeasonsMagazine.com: Promoting Four Seasons locations worldwide, this deft use of online video promotion, search engine optimization and rich informative content pushed 18% of magazine site visitors to the FourSeasons.com site and resulted in real business for the brand.

PEOPLE/Time Inc. – PEOPLE Finds New Niche With PEOPLE Pets: People discovered a powerful connection between its core content—celebrity—and the passion its readers have for animals. The site grew to over 500,000 uniques in a year and started an entirely new business and brand identity for the magazine.

The Atlantic – The AtlanticWire: It is all about views, voice and ideas in the new blogocracy, and TheAtlantic deftly collects and categorizes the leading columnists and thinkers from the real-time Web into a repository of informed, thoughtful opinion. This is aggregation with a brain.

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