The Return of Portfolio.com

By Steve Smith
12/08/2009

Not that it ever actually left, per se, but former Conde Nast wunderkind site and companion to the defunct magazine, Portfolio.com formally re-introduced itself yesterday. Operations had been transferred to CN’s fellow Advance Publications unit American City Business Journals earlier this year. The brand is now repositioned as a news and service site for small and medium businesses. The new Portfolio.com claims to be “the first national business media outlet dedicated solely to delivering actionable news and information to this coveted audience.”

Judging from the new contents, Portfolio.com looks and feels much like a number of other business news and views sites. The feature well is a rotating marquee carousel that has enterprise news stories, including multi-part series like “The New Risk” and which American cities could afford to host major league teams. The site is running a year-long project called “The Great Global Business Adventure,” which embeds a reporter with business owners who are exploring international expansion. A new monthly feature “U.S. Uncovered” will highlight demographic stats.

A new “bizWatch” service lets the user customize news feeds according to companies. A blog feed of topic specific items includes a “Pressed” blog covering the media by Matt Haber and numerous others by editors from ACBJ’s nationwide network of local business publications and sites. There are also regular columns on Wall Street, business travel, and finance. A repository of more evergreen reference pieces is available via content partners BNet and several business graduate schools.

This is not the most amenable media environment for launching new (even re-newed) brands, but Portfolio.com clearly expects to leverage the extensive ACBJ network of existing sites and its special focus on local business. The company claims 84% of its audience represents SMB executives. The network sees 13.5 million unique users a month and 23% of them are C-level and vp-level.

Portfolio.com has one daily e-newsletter. But it is promising vertical publications for the platform on health care, media, technology, advertising and marketing topics.