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Home » » HowStuffWorks and Topix, news agreggators, photos, diagrams, videos and animations

HowStuffWorks and Topix, news agreggators, photos, diagrams, videos and animations

Topix is a news aggregator which categorizes news stories by topic and geography. It was created by the founders of the Open Directory Project.

In March 2005, the Knight Ridder (later taken over by The McClatchy Company), Tribune Company and Gannett media companies purchased a 75% share of the company.

On April 1, 2007, it acquired the topix.com domain name and invited volunteers to edit the topics of their choice, on top of over 100 journalists and editors from various newspapers already signed up.

Topix has gone on to create a community news editing platform, and popular forum system, allowing users to comment on news articles and the goings on of local communities.


* Local news pages for US and international cities
* News pages categorized by subject
* News and blog search engine
* Forum system
* Community news editing platform.
* Blog page featuring popular blogs
* Local classified ads
* Local news feeds for web portals such as CNN's

HowStuffWorks is a website that was founded by Marshall Brain dedicated to explaining the way many things work. The site uses photos, diagrams, videos and animations to explain complex terminology and mechanisms in easy-to-understand language. A documentary television series with the same name also premiered in November 2008 on the Discovery Channel.


In 1998, former North Carolina State University professor Marshall Brain started the site as a hobby. In 1999, Brain raised venture capital and formed HowStuffWorks, Inc. In March 2002, HowStuffWorks was sold to the Convex Group, an Atlanta-based investment and media company founded by Jeff Arnold, founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of WebMD The headquarters moved from Cary, North Carolina to Atlanta, Georgia. HowStuffWorks originally focused on science and machines, ranging from submarines to common household gadgets and appliances. After adding a staff of writers, artists, and editors, content expanded to a larger array of topics.

In November 2004, HowStuffWorks moved its entertainment section to Stuffo. However, in 2006, the team disbanded and the site now redirects visitors to the site's entertainment channel.[citation needed]

The domain HowStuffWorks.com attracted at least 58 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com survey.

There have been four HowStuffWorks books – two illustrated hardcover coffee table books called HowStuffWorks and More HowStuffWorks, and two un-illustrated paperbacks called How Much Does the Earth Weigh? and What If?. HowStuffWorks puts out an educational magazine called "HowStuffWorks Express" for middle school students. The company has also released a series of HowStuffWorks trivia "LidRock" discs – CD-ROMs sold on fountain drink lids at Regal Theaters.

Howstuffworks recently acquired Mobil Travel Guide and Consumer Guide.[citation needed]

Howstuffworks.com spun off its international division when they went public (Nasdaq:HSWI) via an acquisition of INTAC, a China based company. In March 2007, HSW International launched its Portuguese website with headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Portuguese term for the site is Como Tudo Funciona, which means "how everything works". In June 2008, the Chinese site was launched with headquarters in Beijing, China. The URL roughly translates to "Knowledge Information Web."

On October 15, 2007, Discovery Communications announced it had bought HowStuffWorks for US$250 million.The company later chose to use the name HowStuffWorks as the title of a television series on its Discovery Channel. The series, which focuses on commodities,[7] premiered in November 2008 and is similar in style and content to other "how it works" programs like Modern Marvels.


HowStuffWorks has created multiple podcasts hosted by its staff writers and editors. The podcasts are listed below.

Stuff You Should Know is a podcast about random events or afflictions that are interesting or need to know information that is co-hosted by senior staff writers Josh Clark and Charles "Chuck" Bryant. In older episodes, co-hosts other than Bryant joined Clark, editors Candace Gibson and Chris Pollette. The podcast falls under the category of "Society and Culture." It was granted recognition as one of iTunes' Best of 2008 podcasts.

Stuff You Missed in History Class is a podcast about important historical events hosted by editor Candace Gibson. She is joined by co-hosts Josh Clark (older episodes), Jane McGrath (newer episodes), and now, Katie Lambert (newest episodes). The original title of the podcast was Fact or Fiction? History Stuff for the History Buff.

Tech Stuff is dedicated to solving technical problems and terminology hosted by editor Chris Pollette and senior staff writer Jonathan Strickland.

Brainstuff is hosted by site founder Marshall Brain and deals with natural sciences.

Stuff From the B-Side is hosted by senior staff writer Charles "Chuck" Bryant and staff writer John Fuller and deals with music.

High Speed Stuff is a podcast dealing with automotive topics and is hosted by editor Scott Benjamin and Ben Bowlin.

"Stuff Mom Never Told You" is a podcast dealing with philosophy and health.

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