Salon.com Debuts Redesigned Site, Offering Advertisers Unmatched Flexibility and New Ways to Engage Readers


Salon Staff
November 12, 2009 3:12AM (UTC)

San Francisco, CA–November 12, 2009 – Salon.com, the award-winning news and culture site, today announced the launch of its site redesign, giving advertisers an exciting, flexible online platform whose only limit is the advertiser’s imagination. Salon now offers new, creative ways for advertisers to engage fully with the audience, including support for free form ad units, custom interactions and widgets for social media.

“More and more, people are turning away from traditional media and turning toward online news and culture sites for insight and information,” said Richard Gingras, Salon.com’s CEO. “At the same time, technology and social media tools are enabling much more granular targeting and engagement with audiences than ever before possible. We have redesigned the Salon.com site to let advertisers utilize these unprecedented opportunities to reach a highly desirable demographic – the readers of Salon.com – in a meaningful way.”

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Salon.com’s readers – over 5.5 million and growing – are thought leaders who are active and involved in the world around them. According to Nielsen, Salon ranked first among websites in the number of readers who attended colleges and universities and in the top half dozen sites for film enthusiasts, blogging, environmental friendliness and news readership. “Salon’s readers are also writers and communicators. They are not just consumers of media but creators of media,” said Gingras.

Among the new features of Salon.com and opportunities for advertisers:

Architectural Flexibility: The site redesign was purposely crafted to provide advertisers and sponsors with the flexibility to be innovative in creating new campaigns. “We’re intent on creating experiences beyond standard ad units that engage the audience in stimulating new ways,” said Ben Zagorski, Salon’s vice president of advertising sales. “We are giving advertisers the ability to manipulate more parts of Salon than before. HTC has taken advantage of these capabilities by tuning the color scheme of Salon's navigation to highlight their ‘Quietly Brilliant’ campaign. We now also support freeform ad units where the only limitation is creativity.” 

Open Salon: Salon’s blogging platform offers a compelling array of daily content from a talented group of writers. With over 35,000 bloggers, innovative advertisers like Lexus have already begun to engage this audience. Through conversational marketing with an insightful and participatory audience, they have crafted custom campaigns that activate the Open Salon audience to create content around their messaging. These innovative campaign approaches allow advertisers to forge relationships with potential customers in ways that have not been available before. 

Floating Ads: With the new site architecture, Salon is also supporting ads that can float along with the reader as the entire article is read. Salon has replaced normal article pagination in favor of empowering the user with the ability to retrieve the entire article with a single click. Then, as the reader scrolls through the article, the ad, rather than disappearing, “floats” along with the reader. As Zagorski notes, “With these innovations, Salon has created a more compelling reading experience and a more impactful advertiser experience.”

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New Vertical Sections: Salon is creating an array of new vertical sections which offer targeted new opportunities to engage with readers interested in particular topics. The first new verticals, coming later this year, will be a Food section anchored by the prolific former Gourmet.com writer Francis Lam and enhanced versions of its Books and Film sections. Additional sections will launch in 2010.

Founded in 1995, Salon.com has a reputation for delivering high quality journalism, covering a range of news, political and cultural topics. Its stable of talent includes accomplished journalists, authors such as Joan Walsh, Glenn Greenwald, Camille Paglia and Cary Tennis, cartoonists including Tom Tomorrow, plus an evolving group of emerging, edgy voices who are regular contributors to the site. Editor-in-Chief Joan Walsh is a frequent guest on political television shows, including MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Ed Show, the Rachel Maddow Show and Morning Joe as well as CNN's Reliable Sources.

About Salon Media Group

Salon Media Group (Ticker Symbol: SLNM.OB) is the home of Salon.com, the pioneering online community The Well, and the innovative blogging community Open Salon. Salon.com is the trusted, award-winning website that is creating an entirely new form of journalism: combining the high standards of traditional media with the commitment to audience participation and engagement that distinguishes new media. Salon has become the go-to site for informed and engaged people who care about what really matters. The site combines original investigative stories, breaking news, provocative personal essays, highly respected criticism and a stable of popular staff-written blogs about politics, technology and culture. Salon has offices in San Francisco, New York City and Washington D.C. More information can be found at Salon.com.

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Media Contact: pr@salon.com

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