The Virginia-based conservative website the Independent Journal Review—a cross between RedState and Buzzfeed, according to one of the site’s advisors—is becoming increasingly popular. Its traffic—about 24 million unique visitors per month— outstrips that of the Drudge Report and Breitbart News, and the founders are proud of drawing more readers with fewer stories than other similar websites. In August the IJReview received 14 million Facebook shares for 646 articles, while the Huffington Post published thirty-eight times as many articles for only four times as many shares. The founders credit “putting the right content in front of the right audience.”
Find Me I’m Yours, a new e-book by Hillary Carlip, borrows marketing strategies usually reserved for movies and TV: In exchange for copious references to Sweet’N Low, the artificial sweetener’s manufacturer, Cumberland Packing Corporation, “invested” $1.3 million in the book. Find Me I’m Yours is an “interactive multimedia narrative,” with links to original videos and websites mentioned in the storyline embedded throughout the e-book.
At Hazlitt, Karl Ove Knausgaard talks about recreating his childhood memories for My Struggle, his work translating the Bible into Norwegian, and, in a clear-cut case of lede-burying, casually mentions that he’s written a five-hundred page book about the World Cup.
At New York magazine, Andrew Rice profiles eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who poured $250 million into First Look Media last year. “Omidyar’s organization operates a little like WikiLeaks, except it is staffed by well-salaried journalists and backed by Silicon Valley money,” Rice writes. “It aims to unite strident ideology with publishing technology, cryptography, and aggressive legal defense.” Rice quotes Glenn Greenwald, one of the founders of First Look’s “prototype” website the Intercept: “Back before this all happened, he just seemed like the normal, average, amicable billionaire.”
Ann Patchett gently corrects a Times reviewer, who “mentions topics ranging from ‘her stabilizing second marriage to her beloved dog’ without benefit of comma, thus giving the impression that Sparky and I are hitched.” Patchett is not married to her pet: “He married a dog named Maggie at Parnassus Books last summer as part of a successful fund-raiser for the Nashville Humane Association. I am married to Karl VanDevender. We are all very happy in our respective unions.”