SAY Media launched a redesigned version yesterday of Dogster, its community for dog owners, as well as sister site Catster. Via email, the team gave me more details about their vision and where they go from here.
SAY was created after video ad company VideoEgg acquired blogging platform Six Apart. Dogster was its first acquisition, and since then SAY been redesigning or launching sites as part of a strategy called the Clean Campaign, which emphasizes a clear editorial vision, cleaner design, and premium advertising.
As for how that applies to Dogster, the site’s founder and now general manager Ted Rheingold says the old version focused mostly on reference articles, with “news” coverage that entailed “lots and lots of really cute pictures and videos.” SAY however, proposed that Dogster and Catster find a more distinct voice: “Not just tell the news but share what it means, not say what’s going on, but why we think it’s important, and not try and make everyone happy, but gives all sides to the story.” (Yes, we’re still talking about pet-related content.).
“The strategy is to not win by SEO or bookmarking sites,” Rheingold says. “The strategy is to write the most meaningful, sincere, funny, helpful and whimsical pieces that will be shared, as well as bring new readers and members.”
As examples of Dogster’s new approach, Rheingold pointed to “If the Characters in Downton Abbey Were Portrayed by Canine Actors, What Breeds Would They Be?” and “The Cat Litter Face Mask: It’s a Thing and We’re Trying It!” (plus a few others, but I think you get the idea). The various blogs have also been combined into more general categories like Magazine, Video, and Book Of Dog. And there’s a new weekly video program called The Dog Show. Behind the scenes, Dogster has also switched from WordPress to SAY’s Orion platform.
It sounds like SAY is in the middle of converting sites to the new Clean Campaign vision. President Troy Young says that Remodelista, Serious Eats, Dogster, Catster, Food52, The Kitchn, TechDirt, xoJane, and HonestlyWTF either have Clean designs or are in the process of switching over. Next up are Cupcakes and Cashmere, ReadWriteWeb, and Gear Patrol.
SAY Media is a digital publishing company that creates amazing media brands. Through its technology platform and media services, SAY enables its portfolio of independent content creators to build passionate communities around key consumer interest areas such as Style, Living, Food and Tech. The company provides simple and accountable ways for the world’s top brands to engage with these passionate audiences, at scale, with a reach of more than 500 million people around the world. SAY Media is headquartered...
Login to Dogster to connect with other people obsessed with their pets. Upload all your digital dog media and share it with your friends or just strangers who have the same breed of dog. Dogster is a place where dog owners can talk all things DOG when everyone else is tired of hearing it. With many features you would expect with a social network for humans, Dogster is intuitive for the owner.
VP, Social at Say Media Founder Dogster, Inc. (Dogster & Catster (acquired by Say Media) and One Match Fire. Mentor with 500 Startups and i/o Ventures. Investor/Advisor Lumatic, Colingo, Visually, TastemakerX, Petsana, DogVacay, StoryPanda, Reclip.it, Colloquy
Troy is currently President of SAY Media, the innovative digital media company headquartered in San Francisco. Prior to joining VideoEgg, Troy served as EVP, Chief Experience Officer at Organic, one of the world’s leading digital marketing agencies. Before Organic, Troy was a co-founder and managing director of Vickers & Benson Direct, Interactive (now part of Arnold Worldwide). Troy was a board member of Plazmic a mobile tools company acquired by RIM in 2001. He was also on the board of Viigo,...