Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

What’s Next for Good Magazine? A Social Network.

Good Worldwide will today launch a new social activism site, Good.is.

Famous for its printed magazine, Good has now turned its focus to a community site that allows members to publicly post stories and activities and to follow each other and their interests. But it actually looks more like a sparsely laid-out online magazine than a social network.

Unlike some other social networks (especially ones with a lot of users), Good.is has a global news feed of all its members that is curated by its editorial team. So there’s a non-personalized version of the site — again, like a magazine.

CEO Ben Goldhirsh told me that he wants Good.is to become “a global community of pragmatic idealists.” While potential members may have different causes and interests, “the problems we’re trying to tackle are extremely symbiotic,” he said.

A little more than a year ago, Good bought Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes’ Jumo, a cause-driven social network that didn’t take off.

Jumo was entirely shut down, perhaps indicating that a social network for activism is a tough draw, so it’s interesting to see Good trying to do something similar now. Goldhirsh said that the acquisition was about hiring talent and also gaining Hughes’ expertise as an adviser about what worked and what didn’t.

Good CEO Ben Goldhirsh

So, what didn’t? “Jumo had a lot of focus on creating relationships between nonprofits and individuals, but we think what’s fundamental is creating relationships between individuals and the people they respect,” Goldhirsh said.

Good laid off a significant portion of its editorial staff in June. Goldhirsh told me that the company has hired new contributors to replace them, and is now back at about 80 employees.

“The layoff seats have been filled by content creators who are really excited about this changing paradigm,” is how he put it. What paradigm is that? It’s more about “activation” than media, Goldhirsh said.

“We were born not to be a media company forever,” Goldhirsh said. “We were born as a mission company forever.”


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle