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Vox Media Adds The Coral Project’s Innovative Community Platform and Opens Hosted “Talk” to Publishers

Addition of Talk boosts Vox Media’s commitment to audience engagement and its Chorus platform

Today, we are thrilled to announce that The Coral Project is now part of Vox Media. The Coral Project, whose mission is to create safe and productive spaces for audience engagement, was initially created under the Mozilla Foundation where the Coral team developed an open source platform, Talk. Currently, the Talk platform powers communities for more than 30 publishers and 50 newsrooms in 12 countries, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, The Intercept, and New York Magazine.

Under Vox Media’s stewardship, The Coral Project will receive the backing of a digital media company with a top-notch collection of journalists, loyal communities and audiences, and experience building a Software as a Service (SaaS) business. Vox Media will help improve the Talk platform, and make it easier and faster for publishers to adopt it by offering affordable options for hosting and managing Talk, while continuing to support Talk as an open source project. Talk is complementary to Vox Media’s Chorus, which the company began offering as a SaaS to publishers last summer. Chorus’ current customers include The Ringer, Funny Or Die, and the Chicago Sun-Times, in addition to Vox Media’s own editorial networks. Talk is available as part of the Chorus SaaS offering, and is also available as a standalone product.

“We believe in the Coral Project, its software and the team,” says Trei Brundrett, Chief Operating Officer at Vox Media. “When thinking about community and engagement, those are the driving factors for our own editorial networks, starting from the very beginning with SB Nation and how we built our platform Chorus. By adding The Coral Project team, we are adding the unparalleled benefits of a product like Talk to our own portfolio, and will enable other publishers to build engagement on their own sites as we open it as a SaaS offering alongside our publishing platform available to publishers, Chorus.”

The Coral Project addition reflects Vox Media’s story of community and engagement as the foundation for building brands and audiences. Since its inception, SB Nation - Vox Media’s first network - has built its reputation as the smart sports authority by providing a platform for fans across 300 team communities. Now with a digital portfolio of award-winning editorial networks, Vox Media continues to find ways of building loyalty among core, engaged audiences and supporting journalism through valued communities. The Coral Project will allow us to strengthen this approach for both our own portfolio and the publisher customers of Chorus and Talk.

The Coral Project was founded in 2014 in collaboration with The New York Times and the Washington Post, with the goal of making the internet a better place for audiences to interact with journalists more safely and in a productive way. Through the generous support of funders including the Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the News Integrity Initiative at the Newmark J School, the Rita Allen Foundation, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, as well as the Mozilla Foundation itself, The Coral Project developed a series of methods, guides, workshops and software tools to support better newsroom engagement without selling or sharing audience data with third parties. As a result of its success, The Coral Project is now perfectly poised to grow its reach and influence in its next chapter at Vox Media.

“The Coral Project team is passionate about building loyal, sustainable audiences for journalism,” says Andrew Losowsky, Head of The Coral Project. “This means helping communities engage meaningfully with journalists, on a platform that improves the conversation without selling out its users. Nobody understands audience-centered journalism like Vox Media. We’re excited to bring our expertise and Talk platform to the Vox Media network, bringing together two groups who care deeply about the future of journalism, to build and grow audiences around the world who engage and keep coming back.”

Vox Media has hired the Coral team currently working on The Coral Project, including Losowsky and a talented group of product leaders, engineers, and designers. The Coral Project has built a community of journalists and technologists who care deeply about improving the quality of online conversation. Vox Media and The Coral Project are excited to come together and make a better, safer internet. If you haven’t already, now is a great time get in touch with us by reaching out to support@coralproject.net.

Read more about Vox Media and the Coral Project in Axios.