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New VentureBeat Exec Editor Owen Thomas: ‘I Haven’t Looked at Page Views Yet’

Thomas, center, flanked by Eric Knorr, editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, and Ina Fried, senior writer at CNET

Former Valleywag, former NBCBayArea.com editor, and now wet-behind-the-ears VentureBeat executive editor Owen Thomas confessed at a panel discussion in San Francisco yesterday that he hasn’t looked at the site’s page views since assuming his new position at the beginning of this month.

It was a surprising revelation for the editor of a rising tech site in these page-view-obsessed days—especially since it was made during a panel (hosted by mega-PR agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide) titled: “Can Fairness and Accuracy Survive in a Page-View World?”

Thomas explained:

I’m charged with figuring out how we want to run the operations and take [VentureBeat] to the next level—and yes, achieve growth. And we are going to measure growth by page views. But starting out, I decided I would be doing the wrong thing if I focused on page views. I wanted to start out by focusing on the readers we have and the readers that I want to have. If you start from that point of view and say: These are the readers I want to go after, then you want to start getting page views from those readers. But if you just have no vision, and no idea who you want your readers to be, and you just want to get page views, you go down all kinds of crazy paths. We’re not going to do any of that. We’re going to get page views, but we’re going to get the right kind of page views.”

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