I am thrilled to announce four exciting promotions on our team: Vindu Goel as the director of Community Engagement; Maggie Adams as the deputy Search editor; April Zhong as a senior Search analyst; and Kari Haskell as a senior news assistant.
In his new role, Vindu will lead our efforts to strengthen the relationship between The Times and our readers through our comments section. He will work with Marcia Loughran to oversee the comment moderators on the Community team, collaborate with our colleagues across the newsroom, and play a key role in our push to modernize our commenting platform.
Vindu’s experience driving community and engagement in his many roles at The Times has prepared him well for this new role. Vindu joined the Audience team in 2020 after 12 years as a reporter and editor in Business, including a stint as our tech and business correspondent in India. As our emerging platforms editor, he has blended strategic vision, hands-on execution and cross-departmental collaboration to help us explore and build a presence on new platforms.
As one example, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, Vindu proposed a Telegram channel devoted to coverage of the war — and then led a small team of colleagues from other departments to get the channel up and running one week later . Today, the channel has nearly 90,000 subscribers.
Working with comments brings Vindu full circle to his first job at The Times in 2008. Among other duties, he edited the Bits technology blog and personally moderated hundreds of comments a week, including checking dodgy web links and advising readers to resubmit their otherwise great comments without the curse words.
Before joining The Times, Vindu was a reporter, columnist and editor at The San Jose Mercury News in Silicon Valley, The Plain Dealer in Ohio and The Wall Street Journal in Philadelphia.
Maggie has become a key leader on the Search team, and she will continue pushing us forward as our deputy search editor. She contextualizes the search and audience strategies that are driving our journalistic and audience goals. Maggie has proven to be an integral part of our team, whether it’s by working tirelessly on elections, developing our evergreen strategy or by working before the sunrise to write the morning audience note. She is a great teammate, and we’re excited for this next phase on our team.
April has played an essential role in the growth of search traffic on Cooking and has become an integral part of the Cooking and Audience teams. She has defined high-impact technical search engine optimization (S.E.O.) work that directly led to measurable outcomes, including increasing the rankings of recipe and collection pages, achieving exceptional Core Web Vitals scores, and significantly increasing Cooking’s visibility on Google Discover. After the migration of the recipe page, April helped in real-time to debug and resolve several issues that caused our recipe cards to fall out of search results pages. As senior S.E.O. Analyst, April will lead onsite S.E.O. data analysis, set technical S.E.O. requirements for various projects across the product tracks, and help define large strategic initiatives.
Kari has long been a key member of the Community team. As our early morning moderator, she begins each day assessing comment volume and opening top stories, showing keen instincts for what makes a particular piece good (or bad) for comments. This year, she mastered new analytic skills to author Community’s first ever Wrap-Up note, creating a vibrant weekly report highlighting reader insights and comment data. We’re excited to get Kari more involved in Community projects in her new role as a senior news assistant, and we look forward to benefiting even more from her creativity and enthusiasm.
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