One more job posting: Associate Editor, BrickUnderground

BrickUnderground, the go-to site for an insider’s view of New York City real estate, is seeking a full-time Assistant Editor to join our team. 

The ideal candidate is a stellar writer and reporter with a strong work ethic, top-notch organizational skills, and a willingness to pitch in on all the editorial tasks involved in running a digital newsroom. 

For the right person, this position will provide huge opportunities for growth and rapid advancement in an expanding media company. Benefits include health, dental, 401(k), flex-spending, and a casual and fun work environment. 

-Create and package several daily blog posts (including recurring features, link wraps and aggregated content)
-Brainstorm, report and write original stories on all aspects of buying, selling, renting, renovating and living in NYC
-Assist with social media efforts 
-Coordinate production of weekly newsletter
-Post daily editorial content to CMS
-Attend real estate industry events 
-Support editorial efforts as needed

-1-2 years professional journalism experience or relevant graduate degree 
-Ability to turn in clean copy
-Social media experience
-Interest in New York City real estate crucial; knowledge a plus
-Familiarity with Photoshop and CMS platforms major pluses
To apply, send us:
-brief cover letter 
-3 examples of your best writing/reporting
-1-2 examples of your best digital content (slideshows, video, audio, social media campaign, interactive story, etc.)
-links to relevant social media profiles
Send materials to Leigh Kamping-Carder at leigh AT brickunderground.com.

About Brick: 
BrickUnderground is New York City’s most popular and trusted source of real estate advice, with 125,000-plus unique visitors every month. We post 5 times daily and are passionate about providing our readers—NYC buyers, sellers, renters, renovators and dwellers—with practical information they can use, trust and share. 

I’m hiring. (Again!)

Among other things, I’m the editorial director at Flavorpill and there’s a lot happening there right now. We’ve expanded the edit team for Flavorwire (our culture website) and are redesigning and restructuring Flavorpill (our events platform.) I’m in the process of looking for an editor-in-chief and staff writers for the latter. Applicants can apply here

Seeker is a soon to be launched lifestyle website that illuminates the ways in which technology affects the human experience and covers a wide range of topics including, but not limited to gaming, pop culture, sports and music. It will publish unique, first-person takes on these topics and original content from a wide range of perspectives.

We’re seeking a full-time editor-in-chief to manage all editorial functions, including assigning and editing articles, lists and video projects and ensuring that the site’s editorial aligns with the site’s mission, style and tone. The editor in chief will manage a small full-time team of writers, editors and other editorial personnel. Job functions include

- Assigning and editing original content
- Overseeing other aspects of production, including art direction and image selection

- Implementing and managing workflow processes associated with editorial
- Analyzing and evaluating data to determine most effective editorial and marketing practices and adjusting strategies accordingly

Applicants should have at least 7 years of experience as an editor at an online publication, including some management experience, and be prepared to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment that publishes hourly. Experience building and growing audience on an early stage website or online community is a plus. Candidates should also have some basic journalism experience and a track record of commissioning and creating original content that is compelling and unique.

The ideal candidate has experience with and enthusiasm for growing new media properties from scratch and can translate the company’s mission into cohesive, captivating editorial that engages readers and keeps them coming back for more.

Compensation will consist of a competitive base salary with an additional potential bonus contingent upon traffic performance. Applicants should be familiar with Wordpress and basic analytics tools such as Chartbeat and Google Analytics, and have fluency with social media and social media analytic tools.

The position is based in New York City. Send cover letters and resumes to me at espiers AT elizabethspiers.com. 

Paypal succeeded in spite of this stupidity, not because of it.

From the Thiel/Levchin thing that’s been circulating all morning: 

PayPal once rejected a candidate who aced all the engineering tests because for fun, the guy said that he liked to play hoops. That single sentence lost him the job. No PayPal people would ever have used the world “hoops.” Probably no one even knew how to play “hoops.” Basketball would be bad enough. But “hoops?” That guy clearly wouldn’t have fit in. He’d have had to explain to the team why he was going to go play hoops on a Thursday night. And no one would have understood him.

Si Newhouse as the ideal owner

From Isaac Chotiner’s David Remnick interview in TNR

How does one relay a big story with possible repercussions to the owner? At The Washington Post apparently there had been a covenant between Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham called the No Surprises Rule. Graham would not wake up and see that they had run the Pentagon Papers. So I called Si Newhouse,1 who I then had a very slight relationship with, and said that we have this story that I think accused the prime minister of Russia of taking bribes from Saddam Hussein. I called him up and said it had been thoroughly checked and the lawyer had read it and I knew who all the sources were. And there was a long pause. Then he said, “That sounds very interesting. I look forward to reading it.” And that was it. And I have never called anyone since. That is not a common thing anywhere. To take that onboard, that freedom, as well as that responsibility—that was a complicated thing to process.

Good to see that not all media owners buy properties in order to manipulate the editorial.  

I look a little tough in my author’s photo, and I’ve been amazed at how many people—universities, magazines—ask me to send them a different photo, because they say I look aloof, unapproachable, tough, scary, and/or sad. I started asking male authors with tough-looking photos if they had ever gotten any grief about this and they said no, never. When it comes to the author’s photo, women are more likely to hear things like: “You don’t look as pretty as you could in your photo!” or “Why aren’t you smiling?” I, for one, would like to know what it is about an un-smiling woman that makes some people so fucking uncomfortable. Or why anyone would assume a woman’s foremost concern is prettiness.

Very little truthfulness anywhere, antagonism everywhere, so much calculated to disgust, the gigantic hypocrisies, no holding fierce passions at bay, the ordinary viciousness you can see just by pressing the remote, explosive weapons in the hands of creeps, the gloomy tabulation of unspeakable violent events, the unceasing despoliation of the biosphere for profit, surveillance overkill that will come back to haunt us, great concentrations of wealth financing the most undemocratic malevolents around, science illiterates still fighting the Scopes trial 89 years on, economic inequities the size of the Ritz, indebtedness on everyone’s tail, families not knowing how bad things can get, money being squeezed out of every last thing — that frenzy — and (by no means new) government hardly by the people through representative democracy but rather by the great financial interests, the old American plutocracy worse than ever.

Flavorpill Media Year in Review (Plus: I’m hiring!)

For the last year, one of my ongoing gigs has been serving as the Editorial Director for Flavorpill Media’s culture site, Flavorwire.com. I’d launched Flavorwire for the company a few years ago and it very quickly became a core part of the company’s business, complementing their original offering email-based local event listings. During that time, the company also developed a social platform for discovering and sharing cultural events, which is what you see when you go to Flavorpill.com.

It’s been a pleasure to watch a company I first became acquainted with in 2001 (a year after co-founders Mark Mangan and Sascha Lewis started it) evolve into something more sophisticated and interesting. This year’s growth has been particularly impressive.  Some highlights: 

* When I came back into Flavorpill in December to work on Flavorwire, the site was getting 1.7 million uniques a month and 13 million pageviews. This fall we reached a record high of 3.9 million uniques (up 129%) and 36 million pageviews (up 180%).  

* We expanded a bit editorially, bringing our freelance vertical editors on board full-time and adding two more people to the team for a total of six writers and editors, helmed by Editor-in-Chief Judy Berman. We also got a lot more newsy, with more commentary and reportage, giving the site more depth and timeliness.

* In May, we held Flavorwire’s first ever Short Fiction Contest. There were over 900 entries and you can read the winning stories here: Flavorwire Short Fiction Contest Winners.

* Sales revenues are also at an all-time high at just under $6 million for the year—and up from 3.7 million last year (up 62%).

* Also on the sales side, we’ve done some great new programming with partner brands including Absolut Lunch Break, a series of mid-day parties DJed by the likes of Questlove, Cash Money and Mark Farina. (You may have read about it in The New York Times). We’ve also been busy on the festival circuit with events at South by Southwest, Coachella and the Winter Music Festival in partnership with Microsoft, and with Pepsi, Airbnb and Instagram to send readers on trips around the country

* Flavorpill.com, which was in the experimental stages in 2013, saw its subscriber base increase by over 500% in the last year, and had a series of successful partnerships with festivals (i.e., AfroPunk) and venues that used the system to manage RSVPs. In 2014, it’ll move out of beta and expand to new cities.

SO… we’re building on this year’s momentum to expand even further in 2014. Here’s what we’ve got planned:


* We’re expanding Flavorwire’s editorial team in order to bring you more comprehensive cultural coverage. I’m hiring for five new positions: non-fiction editor, visual editor, web culture editor, television/entertainment editor, and we’re bumping music editor Tom Hawking up to senior editor, so I’m also looking to fill that spot. You can see the job descriptions here: Flavorpill Jobs

* Sales is also hiring in New York and Los Angeles. We have more inventory to sell and big ambitions for 2014 programming, so we’re looking to build a bigger team to help grow sales even more. Job descriptions are also on the job board


* We need more space for more staffers so we’re expanding into an adjacent office and completely remodeling our Soho digs.


Building on the success of Flavorwire, we’re planning on launching a new companion site that will cover lifestyle topics—travel, food, style and wellness. It’ll go live in late Spring and I’ll probably start recruiting editorial staffers for it next month. (That said, I’m happy to look at resumes now and would like to hire the editor in chief first. So if you think you might be a candidate, email me at elizabeth@flavorpill.com.)

So 2014 is going to be an exciting year and I’m looking forward to getting started. We have some ambitious plans and are looking for talented people to be part of it.