My next: Vox Media!

Photo by the lovely Genevieve Alvarez.

Photo by the lovely Genevieve Alvarez.

It is with giddy, bouncing-off-the-walls excitement that I am announcing I’ll be joining Vox Media in 2014 as product manager for The Verge.

Vox is the perfect next home for me, having first been with a start-up that was trying to change the industry from the outside, then to a newspaper to reinvent from within — now, to a media company that does great journalism, builds kick-ass technology and ties it all together with modern design and a vision for the future. A little insider, a little outsider. A huge influencer on the future of media. And not afraid to shake things up.

Owning development of editorial features and products at The Verge is one of the most exciting opportunities I could have asked for. It’s a brand that’s, in some ways, still in its infancy, but already beats its peers — HuffPo Tech, Gizmodo, Wired, Engadget and TechCrunch — in monthly unique visitors. As the product manager (the product is storytelling, by the way… brilliant) I’ll lead design and development projects with a mix of management and hands-on participation. Though I get to help shape strategic goals through product innovation for the Verge specifically, the work of myself and the rest of the product team will impact all six of Vox’s sites.

I’ll be based in New York City. I start on January 21. Someone please teach me about how to hail a taxi and whether I’m supposed to sit or stand on the subway.

New role for me: Seattle Times’ first news applications editor

Dorky photo taken by Hannah Birch. Thanks, Hannah.

I’m honored and thrilled to announce that today is my first day in a new role at The Seattle Times: the company’s first news applications editor!

It’s no secret that this is the direction I was headed. Though I’ve been working for about a year and a half at The Times as a homepage producer, my free time and energy has been spent working on special, app-like projects. In the spring, we started a beta tools and apps team, then this summer we really kicked it into high gear with Kevin Schaul working as a news apps developer  —  proving that we need people to work on this stuff full time if we want to create quality products.

Now I get to spend every day doing what I love and what I hope will move the company in the right direction. As news apps editor, I’ll mostly be serving roles of a project manager and creative lead.  I’ll be working directly with (and learning from) designers, data enterprise editor Cheryl Phillips, news artists, engineers and the rest of the newsroom to build some awesome stuff. And keep your eyes peeled — we’ll hopefully be hiring throughout the next year to expand the team.

Here’s the announcement sent out by Eric Ulken:

Colleagues: You’ve seen her fingerprints on The Today File, our acclaimed Election Guide, our word cloud app, the local Olympian medal tracker and many other digital projects. And if you’ve been fortunate enough to work with Lauren Rabaino, you know that she has vision and creativity that match a can-do spirit and the practical ability to build cool stuff.

I’m pleased to announce that, starting today, Lauren will be focusing her talents full-time on creating compelling digital news experiences as The Seattle Times’ first news applications* editor.

In this capacity, she’ll work within the newsroom and with counterparts in design and IT to help conceive and build tools for presenting news and information in innovative ways that our increasingly sophisticated digital users are coming to expect — all with an eye toward growing audience and engagement.

Our audience isn’t standing still, so neither can we — and I’m confident Lauren won’t let us.

Please join me in congratulating her on her new role.

Eric

*What’s a news application? News applications are digital tools and platforms built for the purpose of presenting news and information or building engagement and conversation around the news. Together with the core content management system, they form framework within which information is delivered across our digital channels.

If you have any words of wisdom for me, I’d love to hear.  Charting new territory!

Thanks to everyone who helped me get here.  xoxo

Seattle Times is a general excellence finalist for 2012 OJAs

Aside

This is an exciting day. We didn’t want to get our hopes up too high for the Online Journalism Awards because, even though we’re a smaller regional paper, we fall into the “large” category with likes of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and CNN. But lo and behold, there we are, listed as finalists alongside them for general website excellence! I am so, so proud of this team and this newsroom for all the changes we’ve brought to the site in the past year.  We’re also finalists for online commentary (in part for this video editorial by Prometheus Brown) and investigative reporting, for our Methadone investigation. Thanks to everyone in the newsroom who has contributed to our successes, and to all the other finalists. Drinks on me at ONA in San Francisco! (Just kidding. But I’ll totally give high fives).