August 17, 2013
Bustle.com came out recently and created a bunch of itself: excited activity and movement. People are up in arms over the amount of money that was raised for the startup ($6.5 million), the claims interpreted as saying that it's the first site for women, and the tech involved in the delivery of the content (primarly the JS templating of Ember).
I wouldn't have ever stated things in the way the founder did, I wouldn't have dreamed of trying to score 6.5M for a blog and I wouldn't have combined Rails and Ember to deliver the content for a blog. I'm really glad that they did, though. It got my attention because everyone was pissed, but I love the site. The writing is fantastic and it's the best performing content site that I've been on. It instantly became a daily check for me.
The one part I'm probably supposed to be against is using JS for serving up content, but I'm not. I think it is perfect for who they are targeting. They are targeting connected, modern, individuals of which SEO and non-JS browsers are not a concern.
I was wrong about the SEO part. RJ Ciccaglione, who heads up Product Direction at Bustle says:
"SEO is in fact, very important to us. We get around the JS/crawling issues by storing a cache of almost every page pre-rendered using phantomjs. You can access this cache with a ?nojs=true query string (warning: breaks JS on the page) or by simply curl-ing any URL on the site.")
Their demographics are using very modern technology and they find and share their information via social networks.
Would it be an issue if a national news organization did the same thing? Probably. However, Bustle isn't that. My only hope is that they monetize well because I want the site around for a long time.