Mashable executive editor and chief content officer Jim Roberts connected this past week from Singapore for an interesting Q&A with mUmBRELLA Asia’s Robin Hicks. Mashable plans to open a Singapore office in the third quarter of 2015, and Roberts has been in the country interviewing candidates for the local editor position.
Roberts said his site already gets approximately two million monthly unique visitors from Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines). Mashable has a budget to hire two journalists for the Singapore office, starting with the editor:
“We’re only halfway through the search, but if I leave Singapore without a few strong candidates I will have failed. We’ve talked to several people, and I’ve been impressed with who I’ve seen so far. They all come from very different backgrounds with very different skills sets, but I’ve been very encouraged by the caliber and candidates seem to have the sensibilities and mindset that we’re looking for…”
“I’m looking for a lot of [editor] qualities – a sensible, responsible journalist with a great deal of creativity; the ability to think beyond text-based journalism; a keen sense for photography and video and how it can all be mixed together; a strong command of social media, and how they present themselves. It’s clearly not just a job for just any journalist.”
Roberts told Hicks he was also pleasantly surprised by the level of Mashable awareness among Singapore journalists, noting “it’s not fake knowledge” (e.g., that kind of “Oh yeah, I love Mashable…” blarney some job candidates might try to get away with). In the Q&A, Roberts also addresses the minor backlash that has greeted Mashable’s shift away from its original tech-centric focus.
The editorial side of Mashable currently encompasses 65 journalists, with 50 of these based in New York and aided by the news side’s 25 or so interns. Roberts’ next-level site goal, with help from international expansions, is to achieve 1.5 million daily unique visitors. Last month, mUmBRELLA Asia marked its own two-year anniversary.
[Photo of Singapore skyline: Shutterstock.com]