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Huffington Post India goes live

Huffington Post India has gone live this morning, a few hours prior to its formal offline press announcement. In a long post introducing India to India, founder Arianna Huffington writes about studying in the country, its sanitation issues, the impact of modernization on sleep (a pet theme), technology, connectedness and MOOCs, yoga, that Modi does Yoga, before finally telling us about HuffPo India:

Sruthijith KK will be the Editor in Chief (MediaNama had reported this earlier), and the publication has begun with stories on:

Narendra Modi’s first six months in office, the ways low oil prices are helping the Indian economy, the country’s record on climate change, an interview with the Bollywood director Farah Khan, and some of the best Indian travel apps. Since HuffPost India hopes to open up the conversation on how we can live lives with less stress and more fulfillment, our launch day will include, among other stories, expert advice on how to cope with rush-hour stress on the Delhi Metro, the reasons so many Indians are sleep-deprived, interviews with young Indian tech workers who traded fast-paced city life for jobs in hill stations, and 11 yoga poses you can do at your desk.

Apart from these, there are blog posts from actor Manoj Bajpayee on his advice to his daughter, lifestyle blogger MissMalini on India’s rising cultural influence around the world, Arnab Ray on the political battle underway in Delhi, YaleGlobal Online editor-in-chief Nayan Chanda on the potential Bangladesh border deal; lecturer in psychology Tanu Shree Singh on the challenge of raising boysto respect women in a patriarchal culture; environmental activist Sunita Narain onDelhi’s pollution crisis, apart from many others.

That seems to be planned fare. The headlining story, though, is newsy:

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Editor in Chief Sruthijith KK introduces the publication and its mandate here.

MediaNama sources indicate that Huffington Post India has launched with around 8 staffers, all in editorial, and intends to expand to 15-20 people  by this time next year. That’s a bigger plan than most international digital publications have had for India, and might lead more aggressive moves from others. The Guardian, for example, recently featured Mumbai as a part of its Guardian Cities initiative, and might be looking at the country more seriously, for more than a week, soon.

For Times Global Partners, their audience acquisition spree continues, adding more unique visitors and pageviews for the Times Internet to sell to advertisers. It now includes deals with:

– Gawker Media for the Indian editions of Gizmodo and Lifehacker which went live in May 2013.
– Business Insider for Business Insider India which went live in September 2013.
– Ziff Davis for Indian editions of its gaming site IGN and men’s lifestyle site AskMen. IGN went live in December 2013 and AskMen went live last month.
– Luxury blog Pursuitist for its Indian edition pursuitist.in which went live in December 2013 with a placeholder page and the company seems to be populating content on the site right now.
– UK-based media group Future Plc for the Indian edition of its technology news and reviews site TechRadar that went live in August this year.
– San Francisco-based digital publishing company Say Media for 
Indian editions of Say Media’s home design site Remodelista and tech news site ReadWrite which is also yet to go live.
– US publishing conglomerate Crain Communications for Indian edition of Ad Age India.

Still to go live: the partnership with Electus Digital for comedy site CollegeHumor.com, geek culture site Dorkly.com and Hip-hop focused celebrity site WatchLOUD.com.

Content is a commodity, it appears, while sales is not.

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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