Virgance, the unique ‘Activism 2.0’ startup that is looking to improve the world while making money in the process, has announced the latest addition to its portfolio of campaigns. The company has revealed that beginning six months ago it began quietly acquiring a number of blogs, namely the Green Options Media Network – a collection of 15 blogs, each of which is focused on a different portion of the environmental space. Since the acquisition the blog network has managed to become profitable despite the floundering economy, and has seen its writing staff grow significantly. But according to Virgance, they’re just getting started.
Green Options was founded back in 2007, and has grown to around 2.5 million monthly unique visitors. The network’s most popular blogs include Gas 2.0 (a blog focused on alternative fuels) and CleanTechnica, a blog that examines the latest trends in clean tech. The network sees around 30-40 new blog posts a day, though some of the niche blogs are updated less frequently than the others.
Since acquiring Green Options, Virgance has largely been concentrating on revamping the network’s backend, which had previously been unable to cope was huge rushes of traffic (the blog network is regularly seen on Digg and even the Yahoo homepage, and has previously had issues with downtime). Virgance was able to tap into its resources to sovle these issues, and Green Options articles have been recently featured on the Yahoo homepage without a hitch. Now that the blogs can keep up with traffic, Virgance CEO Steve Newcomb says it’s time for ‘Phase Two’.
Virgance is looking to turn Green Options Media into something of a media empire akin to the Huffington Post, featuring frequent submissions from notable politicians, executives, and celebrities. At the moment most of the site’s content is written by a handful of staff writers and a over 100 citizen journalists and reporters. And it already has some impressive contributors, including San Francisco Mayor Gavin Gavin Newsom, who writes an article every two weeks. Newcomb says that we probably won’t start seeing too many more well known authors sign on until the summer, but the blog is already seeing steady traffic regardless.
Beyond that, Newcomb says that he’s looking to extend the company’s blogging properties beyond ‘Green’ and into other fields. Of course, this is all easier said than done – it probably won’t be easy to recruit all of these politicians and executives, and even if Green Options can create a sizable audience, it’s going to be difficult to convert them into readers of unrelated news (building the next Huffington Post isn’t going to be easy).
Aside from Green Options, Newcomb says that Virgance has more campaigns on the way, some of which will be unveiled at the company’s next Equinox Event on Tuesday.