Some Spider Adds Salon’s Blake Zeff To Its High-Profile Hires

Some Spider, the digital media startup created by Quidsi co-founder Vinit Bharara, has been bringing on some big names from the media world, including The New York Times’ chief technology officer Rajiv Pant and its digital head Paul Smurl.

Yesterday it announced that it has hired Blake Zeff, former political editor at, to be the editor in chief of

The company plans to relaunch as a political site this fall. Bharara (pictured above with Zeff, Smurl and Jill Smokler, editor in chief of parenting sites Scary Mommy and The Mid) said the goal is to create a site that talks about politics in a way that’s “not about the horse race, not about the nontroversies,” but is instead focused on substantial issues and how they affect readers.

It’s not the most obvious step after acquiring ScaryMommy and launching The Mid. But Bharara said they all fit into the broader mission of creating sites aimed at specialized communities, then publishing content that’s “of the people, for the people, by the people.” That means hiring editorial staffers who know the community and also allowing them to curate stories from readers.

If you’re wondering why Bharara has moved from e-commerce to digital media, well, he said, “One thing that’s always mattered to me is the written word.” (To be clear, Some Spider isn’t just about text; it’s publishing audio and video as well).

And Bharara’s actually applying lessons he learned from Amazon-acquired Quidsi. In the same way that Quidsi built common infrastructure allowing it to launch multiple services like and, Some Spider is building things like a content management system that will allow it to launch, manage and make money from multiple sites.