Portrait: The Verge

A group of AOL defectors takes on their former employer—and tech blogs at large—with a slick design and cutting-edge technology

Tech pubs are in no short supply, but that meant nothing to Josh Topolsky and his co-workers last March when they left AOL’s Engadget for a rival startup. They landed at Jim Bankoff’s SB Nation (now Vox Media), where they built the ambitious and stylish technology news site The Verge. In true geek style, Bankoff (who facilitated the purchase of Engadget when he was at AOL) lured the three with back-end technology, the equivalent of whispering sweet nothings to tech writers.  The company’s continually evolving content management system makes Vox a test bed for some of the “newest and most interesting publishing tools I’ve ever seen,” Topolsky said. StoryStreams, for example, lets articles be pieced together into a single,scannable narrative. Since launching in November, The Verge has hit 4 million monthly uniques and snagged advertisers like BMW, Ford and Dell.


Who Left to right: Joanna Stern, senior reviews editor; Josh Topolsky, editor in chief and co-founder; and Nilay Patel, managing editor

What Technology news site

Where New York

Photographer: Will Boisture