One of my first projects at The Verge as a product manager is a buying guide series called This Is My Next. I can't take any credit for the concept, but I can talk you through what's happening behind the scenes.
What is it?
A product buying guide. Technically, it's a new entry type on The Verge (derived from the reviews entry) that has its own sweet look, feel and branding. It integrates with our product database and adds affiliate commerce options (!) to really bring product data to the forefront in the name of reader utility. Entries feed into the reviews hub page and the reviews section on the nav.
What's the point?
There are a million kinds and iterations of every imaginable gadget, device, and gizmo on the planet. Yet these are increasingly the devices we spend our time with, and they're how we see and interact with the world. Buying things is hard, and The Verge wants to make it easier.
Verge's editorial staff is going to test everything, and tell you what to buy. They'll also help you come up with the answer for yourself, but ultimately when you want to know which $250 camera is best, or which Windows 8 ultrabook you should own, This Is My Next will be the place to look. It might not be the only option that will make you happy, but we’ll always have something that you’ll love. We've seen everything, tested everything, and we have the answers.
Here are the first few This Is My Next articles:
- The best tablet you can buy
- The drone you should buy right now
- The best calendar app for iPhone
- The best set-top box you can buy
- The best weather app for Android
- The best weather app for iPhone
- The best portable bluetooth speaker you can buy
- The best camera you can buy for under $250
How does it work?
Basically, it's an article. But an article based on structured data. For each This Is My Next entry we write, authors can attach products from our product database, and assign a winner, runner-up and other contenders. Each attached card links to an entry in the product database, which contains information about specs and release date. Integrating the Pricegrabber API and Amazon Affiliates, we also give readers an option to purchase the products we recommend (it is a buying guide, after all), which also means a tiny share of each transaction comes back to Vox Media.
Huge Ma, engineer
James Chae, designer
David Pierce, editor
Lauren Rabaino, product manager