Press Releases

News about the Arc Publishing platform from the public relations team at The Washington Post.

How The Washington Post built a publishing platform accidentally on purpose

The Elizabethan dramaturge John Webster gave one of his characters these immortal words: “There’s nothing of so infinite vexation/As man’s own thoughts.” Of course, he was lucky enough to live nearly 400 years before the first content management system was invented.

In early 2013, The Washington Post found itself in a particularly vexing situation: The newsroom employed two different content management systems to publish two different websites. Each site happened to be called washingtonpost.com, and the exhausted designers and site engineers had to make sure readers couldn’t see a difference.
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It was a problem long in the making. Since 1995, when The Post first launched its website, the company had a web CMS that published online-only content alongside print content, which it received from the print-only CMS. Following Clay Christensen’s principles of disruptive innovation, the web newsroom was established separate from the main print newsroom. For more than a decade, the ink-stained wretches downtown threw their stories over the wall, and over the river, to the web editors in Arlington, Virginia.
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A full platform was needed, and these tools became an integrated suite, one component at a time.

The metered paywall came in 2013. It was followed by a video system (code-named Goldfish), scheduling and workflow management tool (Websked), fully redesigned mobile app (Rainbow), quiz and poll tools (Story Tools), analytics dashboard (Loxodo), headline testing tool (Bandito), A/B testing tool (Darwin), and others.

Eventually, the platform got a new name: Arc Publishing.

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The Washington Post unveils ‘Paloma’ newsletter delivery platform

"The Washington Post introduces Paloma, an email delivery system developed by Post engineers that gives the newsroom powerful tools for creating custom newsletters. Built using Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES) platform, Paloma is a light-weight, fast platform that features an intuitive content editor, making it easy for reporters to compose text within the system and automatically embed social content, photos and videos."

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A sneak peek at Ask, the newest application from The Coral Project

"Asking questions of readers and managing their answers will soon be easier for publishers of all sizes thanks to Ask, a new open-source software application that’s being developed by The Coral Project, a collaboration between The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Mozilla, funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation. By using Ask’s simple drag-and-drop interface, a reporter or editor can solicit feedback or personal stories from readers. Ask then gives publishers simple tools to choose reader contributions to highlight, then manage a gallery of contributions that can be placed on its own web page or embedded along with an article."

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Infobae now powered by The Washington Post’s Arc Technology

"The Washington Post announces it has added Argentine publisher Infobae as a partner of Arc Publishing, making it the largest international outlet to use The Post’s technology.

Infobae’s completely relaunched site, which progressed rapidly from conception to launch in a matter of months, showcases the publisher’s focus on digital experimentation and commitment to producing high-quality journalism for readers. Arc technology will power Infobae’s ambitious digital plans to accelerate capabilities for mobile, video, social and distributed platforms and position them for continued growth."

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The Globe and Mail becomes largest North American media outlet to use The Washington Post’s Technology Platform

"Today, The Globe and Mail announces that they will become the largest North American media outlet to adopt The Washington Post’s Arc Publishing technology, with efforts to transition The Globe to the new platform starting immediately. Designed and built by The Washington Post, Arc Publishing is a flexible technology platform specifically built for digital storytelling that handles stories, rich media, apps, video and personalization, optimizing them for deployment to different channels – including desktop, large or small tablets, mobile phones and distributed social platforms."

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The Washington Post’s Arc Publishing Technology powers new Alaska Dispatch News site



"Great storytelling demands great technology, and The Washington Post thrives at the intersection of journalism and engineering. Arc powers our digital products at The Post, and I’m happy to launch the Alaska Dispatch News onto Arc’s state-of-the-art digital platform.” said Shailesh Prakash, Chief Technology Officer at The Washington Post. Alaska Dispatch News focuses on issues that concern Alaskans, including a changing economy, climate change, the oil and gas industry and life in Alaska."


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The Washington Post introduces “Fuse,” new technology for ads across all Post platforms

"When a user swipes on the promotional unit powered by Fuse, the ad unit opens pre-cached and immediately within the application to reveal a full-screen, dynamic experience. Users can then swipe or click to return to where they were in the editorial article, creating a seamless transition between the advertising and editorial experience. Following the industry standard, a Fuse ad is identified by a lightning bolt in the top right corner of the promotional creative to denote an instantaneous load."

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“Trust,” the first app from The Coral Project, debuts


"The Trust app aims to scale the moderation of user-generated contributions by focusing on the user’s history of contributions in addition to moderating individual contributions themselves. Through Trust, publishers can categorize users in two ways: persistent tags (examples: this user is a medical doctor; this user’s comments have been featured in an article) and dynamic lists — groups that allow publishers to tee up groups of users based on their contribution history."


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New feature aims to get distracted or inactive users to engage further with Washington Post content

"'Re-Engage' is a new feature that provides personalized content recommendations and appears when mobile users show signs of distraction or stop engaging with Post content when on article pages. We built this product in-house to engage with users at a time when they’re most likely to look elsewhere for relevant content. Here’s how it works: when a mobile user is rapidly swiping past content or not interacting with it at all, we will deliver a “Re-Engage” unit that recommends content based on the user’s interests identified through our proprietary Clavis personalization system. The unit also leverages Bandito’s testing capabilities."

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The Washington Post unveils new real-time content testing tool Bandito


"The Washington Post unveils Bandito, a custom-built, real-time content testing tool that allows Post editors to experiment with how a story is presented on The Post’s site. Bandito lets editors create multiple experiences for a story, varying the headline, blurb, and thumbnail photo for articles that appear on The Post’s site. Once a test goes live, Bandito detects which version readers prefer and automatically serves that version more frequently."

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The Washington Post’s new “InContext” promotional unit automatically matched with relevant editorial content

"The native ads, called “InContext,” were created by a team of Post engineers focused on personalization and feature pre-selected quotes from WP BrandStudio stories. Proprietary technology enables the units to appear on story pages with contextually relevant Post editorial content, dramatically improving efficiency and the amount of time that would be required to pair the ads manually."

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New Washington Post promotional unit integrates editorial content to deliver a tailored ad experience

"Using proprietary technology, “PostPulse” is a promotional unit that pulls in Post editorial content around a certain topic as well as a brand’s message. The data-driven technology, called Clavis, then identifies users that would be interested in that content and recommends an experience that’s most relatable to them."

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