Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Time Inc.'s InStyle Sets Up Shop at StyleFind

Remember when magazines were excited about launching Web sites, not iPad apps?

Here’s a reminder of what that was like: Meet, which is supposed to be live Tuesday morning. It’s a new shopping site from Time Inc.’s InStyle magazine, and you’ll figure it out as soon as you see it.

In case you don’t: The site helps shoppers pick through some 2,000 brands, from 150 retailers, and eventually sends them off to partner sites, which handle the actual purchase and fulfillment. InStyle will get affiliate fees for forwarding on customers, giving the title another revenue stream to complement circulation and advertising.

StyleFind sports the requisite Twitter and Facebook buttons, but this isn’t one of the new breed of social shopping sites that have cropped up in the past year, like Svpply.

Instead, StyleFind assumes that shoppers are interested in the sense and sensibility that InStyle exudes, translated here by a small team of dedicated editors who pick out clothes and accessories.

Pretty straightforward stuff, and you can find versions of it elsewhere on the Web, and from other publishers as well. The major difference here is that Time Inc. built and operates the site itself, based on technology it acquired when it bought Boston-based StyleFeeder nearly a year ago for a price reported as “well into eight figures.”

Following that deal, Time Warner’s publishing unit then hired Bluefly vet John Carles to head up e-commerce for its Style group. Assuming Stylefind pans out, Carles will be able to use the same model for other titles, including People and even Entertainment Weekly, the publisher says.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik