Blog - Announcements
BlankSlate created a custom version of the WordPress import tool to cleanse article content and download images and videos from the Newsday CDN. The process imported XML files containing articles, photo galleries and videos. The media was automatically imported to WordPress and connected with the WPengine CDN.
To preserve the overall look and feel of amNY, BlankSlate created a custom theme inheriting from the Gridlove WordPress theme.
SEO and Social Sharing meta was preserved and optimized using Yoast SEO. SEF URL preservation was achieved in the custom amNY theme with help from the WordPress Redirection plugin.
Additional WordPress plugins were used to facilitate the detection of mobile and desktop devices. Desktop and mobile ad zones were preserved using Google’s DFP and DFP approved code that automatically refreshes ads when in view.
The new amNY site is available now.
With BlankSlate at the helm, DumboNYC will continue to provide opportunities for locals and tourists to dive into the delights of this thriving neighborhood.
“This is a natural evolution for DumboNYC,” said the site’s founder Hide Harashima. “BlankSlate has been our partner since 2011 and they will continue to provide coverage, with more resources to do so. I’m happy to see the neighborhood’s footprint grow and know the site is in great hands.”
Founded in 2006, DumboNYC has published more than 3,000 articles about local life and culture.
Under BlankSlate, the site will continue to explore Dumbo’s unique history, cover evolving stories like the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and keep abreast of the day to day news surrounding the neighborhood’s cultural events, education, retail, and residential and office development.
Already, BlankSlate has started adding new features to the site, including showcases where local businesses can connect and interact directly with the site’s visitors.
“We are committed to further building DumboNYC and carrying its legacy,” said Kael Goodman, BlankSlate’s CEO, “and we look forward to sharing DumboNYC with you.”
Jonathan Butler of the Brooklyn real estate blog Brownstoner and Kael Goodman of BlankSlate have been working together since 2010.
The business relationship started simply, Brownstoner partnering with BlankSlate to create a directory of home service providers such as contractors and architects. Only five years later, BlankSlate was handling all of Brownstoner’s advertising and content marketing business, in addition to having added robust features such as real estate listings to the site.
Over the last three years, one topic of conversation came up from time to time: Would Butler consider selling Brownstoner to BlankSlate?
Goodman eventually got his answer. As of this week, Brownstoner is now owned by BlankSlate.
Brownstoner, launched in 2004 to chronicle his home renovation, has occupied ten years of Jonathan Butler’s life. With over 42,000 posts under its belt, the site has served as a chronicle of Brooklyn’s explosion as one of America’s hottest real estate markets and cultural destinations.
The site has been featured numerous times in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and New York Magazine. It was honored in 2008 by the Historic Districts Council for its role in preservation. Since 2012, Brownstoner has also offered coverage and listings of the Upstate New York market, and in May 2013, Butler launched the sister site Brownstoner Queens to offer coverage of Queens real estate.
BlankSlate has been the driving force behind many of Brownstoner’s expansions over the years. The agency handled Brownstoner’s advertising and content marketing efforts, and revamped its website, its property listings, and Local Home Pros, a place where readers can compare home professionals from real estate agents to carpenters to architects. Even Brownstoner Queens started out as a BlankSlate site called QueensNYC, before BlankSlate sold it to Brownstoner.
But Goodman had other ideas about how Brownstoner could make the transition from Brooklyn’s leading real estate blog to a destination for anyone interested in living in Brooklyn or Queens, or for New Yorkers thinking of moving Upstate.
A little over a week ago, Butler and Goodman met up for a periodic check-in, and once again fell into discuss the possibility of Butler selling Brownstoner to BlankSlate. The next day they had a deal. A few days later, the documents were drafted and signed.
Many things about Brownstoner will remain the same. Brooklyn real estate, renovation, history, and culture. Brownstoner will stay true to its mission of being the go-to site for people obsessed with Brooklyn real estate, renovation, history and culture.
The new ownership, however, will be bringing some exciting changes to Brownstoner. You can expect to see more coverage of interior decoration, renovation, and living in Brooklyn. This acquisition will give Brownstoner the resources to expand and refine its editorial scope, and connect readers with each other, experts, and brands they care about.
“Brownstoner is the go-to site for the impassioned Brooklynite,” said Goodman. “The editors and their audience love Brooklyn. They love where it’s come from, and they love where it’s going. And this is exactly the type of person that a brand wants to address when they introduce themselves into the Brooklyn marketplace.”
As for Jonathan Butler, he is optimistic about the future for the site he founded.
“Starting Brownstoner in 2005,” said Butler, “I could not have imagined what an incredible community would coalesce around the site and all the exciting opportunities it would lead to for me personally. After ten years, though, it’s time for this old-school blogger to hand off the baton to a company that is perfectly positioned to make the most of the site in the current media environment. Meanwhile, I look forward to continuing to devote myself to my other businesses — Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg, Berg’n and 1000 Dean — watching with interest as Kael and his team execute upon their vision for Brownstoner.”
Introducing the SIBOR Marketplace – A Complete Resource of Staten Island Home Improvement and Related Servicesby Zach Ehren / Announcements / September 10, 2014
We are very excited to announce the launch of the SIBOR Marketplace.
You may recall that we completely redesigned SIBOR.com, making it the go-to resource for real estate listings in Staten Island. Our partnership has now reached a new level with the development of the SIBOR Marketplace — a complete source of information about Staten Island home improvement and related services.
Residents of Staten Island can use the Marketplace as a one-stop shop for home improvement services. As they prepare for the leaves to begin falling, the snow to pile up, and the grass to start growing next spring, the Marketplace can help them find service providers to assist them through all of their seasonal woes. The simple, intuitive layout allows residents to easily navigate through the different types of home improvement services and find the exact business they need.
PoPville founder and editor Dan Silverman | ep_jhu via flickr
Once again, congratulations are in order for PoPville‘s Dan Silverman. For the third year in a row, Washington City Paper named PoPville.com the Best Community Blog in Washington, D.C.
As happy as we are for Dan, this comes as no surprise to us. PoPville has been a key member of our publisher network, bringing peerless coverage of local events to the D.C. area. Since 2006, Dan, a Rockville Centre native, has been covering such topics as quality of life, real estate, restaurants, bars, retail, architecture, gardening, pets, transit, and crime. The Washington Post once wrote that Silverman “probably knows more about the District than some beat cops.”
Neither will the people of D.C. be surprised by this honor. PoPville is often quoted as a source in The Washington Post, and this commitment to local reporting results in ever-growing traffic to the site: 1.75 million page views and over 480,000 unique visitors in March 2014 alone. It’s no wonder that Washingtonian magazine called PoPville the “King of Neighborhood Blogs.”
So raise a glass (or two) to PoPville! Long live the king! We look forward to you winning again in 2015.
We’ve been excited about this for months. Now it’s everyone else’s turn.
Ever since the Daily News broke the story about the upcoming launch of ExploreBK.com (“Booming Brooklyn is about to get its own tourism website,” April 2, 2014), the story has been picked up all over the place, including the New York Observer, Crain’s, Brownstoner, Technical.ly, and Brooklyn Magazine.
From the Daily News piece:
The “it borough” is about to get a tourism website of its own, courtesy of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Brooklyn tech company BlankSlate, officials told the Daily News.
Set to launch on May 9, ExploreBK.com will seek to amp up Brooklyn’s reputation as a tourist must-see for travelers locally and around the world.
“ExploreBK.com is going to take all of the great things in the coolest place in America, from shopping to dining to events, and put it into a one-stop shop website for all things Brooklyn,” Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce president Carlo Scissura told the Daily News.
The Observer added:
The website, ExploreBK, will feature information on major attractions and events in the borough, along with information about restaurants, business and hotels. BlankSlate, which also runs the Brooklyn real estate blog Brownstoner, will create content, sell ads and sponsorships, and take some of the revenue generated by the site.
New York already has an official tourism website, NYCgo.com, and there’s even a Kings-County specific site run by the borough president’s office, which features super-hip graffiti designs. But Brooklyn is just so cool that it needed one more.
If, in a couple months, you find your favorite Brooklyn street swarming with tourists, we hope you won’t be too mad at us.