Daily Report: SNA Foundation’s North American Innovation Mission

SNA President Nancy Lane will provide daily reports from the road while traveling with the Innovation Mission. Eighteen community media executives are taking part in this week-long study to visit with some of the most innovative media houses in North America. The group is focusing on new business models and emerging content strategies.

Sunday Night Report: Rick Blair, CEO, Examiner.com

Rick Blair, CEO,

“Probably the largest network that no one has ever heard of!” It is large indeed with 22 million monthly unique visitors. Blair focused on their amazing content strategy:

  • 70,000 “examiners” defined as passionate, credible, local insiders
  • 48% of applicants are accepted
  • Goal when choosing examiners – thought leadership/high standards/quality
  • Vast majority have some writing experience
  • They process 2,000 applications per week
  • Application also requires writing samples & criminal background checks
  • Nearly 50 courses at Examiner University (all video-based)
  • Courses include: how to write headlines; how to market their stories; upload images etc.
  • There are 240 categories to choose from in the application process
  • Top content channels: arts/entertainment; food/drink; health; family/parenting; religion
  • 20% of applicants come from referrals from other examiners ($50 spiff)
  • Biggest source for applicants is Career Builder (also Monster & journalism jobs)
  • Examiners are compensated based on a variety of metrics (ranging from a few dollars per month to over $50,000 (in a few cases)

Much more will be covered in a comprehensive report to be issued to the industry in the next few weeks.

Next Up: Day with Clark Gilbert and Team at Deseret Digital