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The Quartz Daily Brief: 50,000 strong

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Today we surpassed 50,000 subscribers to the Quartz Daily Brief, our morning email newsletter. (Above, a cake to celebrate. It tasted better than it looks.)

We put a lot of work into each Brief, so it’s been gratifying to receive such a positive response. Perhaps more important than the number of subscribers is the fact that more than 40% of all the emails we send are actually read, an open rate that’s unheard of in this business.

Thanks to all 50,000 of our subscribers. If you’re not yet among them, you can sign up for free right here. Pick your edition—Asia, Europe/Africa, Americas—for delivery in the morning wherever you live.

Our best wishes for a productive day.

New on Quartz: You can highlight our articles

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Earlier this year, we made it possible to leave annotations in the margins of Quartz. Today we’re adding the ability to highlight our text, too—and share those highlights with the rest of the world.

All you need to do is click on a paragraph to activate it. (You’ll see a grey background.) Then just click on individual sentences to highlight them in yellow; click again to undo. You can highlight as many sentences throughout the piece as you like. The URL in your browser’s address bar will update to reflect your highlights, so you can share them on Twitter, send them in an email, or just keep them to yourself.

For example, here’s a link to a Quartz article about Hershey buying a Chinese chocolatier with a few key passages highlighted.

We’re adding this feature to make Quartz more useful for you. Everyone takes away something different from our reporting, and now you can decide what’s important. We’re excited to see what you do with it.

Some technical background: Highlighting on Quartz is based partly on Emphasis, an open-source project initially developed by Michael Donohoe in 2011, when he was a developer at the New York Times. Michael is now our director of product engineering.

Quartz seeks a fall intern to cover technology and science

Quartz is looking for an intern to help us cover technology and science, starting immediately. It’s a paid gig with plenty of opportunities to write. You don’t have to be a current tech journalist, but a familiarity with how we cover the news is essential. The best candidate will be collaborative and eager to quickly and efficiently tackle assignments from editors.

Our headquarters are in New York City, but remote interns will also be considered. Part-time is OK.

Please reach out to christopher@qz.com with applications. Include clips, a CV, and a link to your Twitter account and/or website.

Thanks again to the five million people who visited Quartz in July, which was just our tenth month of operation. Now that some comparative data is available, we wanted to put that growth into perspective.

The chart above shows the last nine months of US-based traffic to Quartz, the Financial Times, and the Economist, according to comScore estimates. We are great admirers of the other news sites, and it’s an honor to have quickly found a place among them.

(It’s worth nothing that comScore-measured traffic is estimated based on a sample, so it’s usually less than what publishers record themselves. That’s true for us, so we assume it applies to our competitors, as well. The data in the chart above represent US-based traffic on desktop browsers only. In total, according to Omniture, Quartz had five million unique visitors in July, about 40% of them outside the US.)

Mashable has a story about these data, as well.

Since our launch about 10 months ago, Quartz hasn’t had a way for you to leave comments on our articles. That’s because we didn’t want to bolt an average comments section onto the bottom of each article and call it a day. In our experience, that approach doesn’t often lead to valuable discussion. Plus, we have plenty of other great ways to communicate with you—from our @qz Twitter account to our hi@qz.com inbox.

Today we’re excited to unveil our own spin on comments. We call them annotations.

Read the full product announcement here.

Thank you! All five million of you.

Quartz had 5 million unique visitors in July, our 10th month of operation. Thanks to all of our amazing readers for making it happen. We just sent out this press release to celebrate…

Quartz (QZ.com) Reaches 5 Five Million Uniques

August 1, 2013—Quartz (QZ.com) reached a new traffic record with five million unique visitors in the month of July. The extremely rapid growth since the site’s launch just ten months ago shows the power of Quartz’s strong global business content and its embrace of the free and open web.

“The incredible traffic growth we’ve seen has outpaced our most optimistic forecasts for this year,” said Jay Lauf, SVP & Group Publisher, Atlantic Media. “Even more exciting is the incredible target audience we’ve been able to attract. That is, in turn, attracting blue chip advertisers from across categories.”

According to Bizo, 65% of Quartz’s audience are executive level decision-makers. About 40% of readers come from outside the US, with Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Germany among the top geographies. The monthly unique visitor numbers are according to Omniture.

The most visited of Quartz’s “obsessions” this month were: the mobile web, China’s transition, energy shocks, space business, the sea, and the future of finance.

Interest in Quartz continues to attract campaigns from top-tier advertisers including: Adobe, Box, Colloquy, Cathay Pacific, Growth Accelerator, Harvard Business School, KPMG, Morgan Stanley, Rolex, and Sony.

For media inquiries, please contact Perri Dorset at 646-560-5699 or perri@qz.com.

Welcome, Heather Timmons!

We’re thrilled to welcome Heather Timmons to the Quartz family. She’s joining us as Asia correspondent based in Hong Kong.

Heather previously worked at The New York Times, where she was based in London and New Delhi, and covered mergers and acquisitions, high-flying bankers, the private equity boom, and terrorism. 

In 2011, she co-founded and ran India Ink, the paper’s first-ever country specific news journal, which provided more in-depth news and analysis of the world’s largest democracy and of India’s global diaspora. India Ink grew to a monthly audience of close to one million unique visitors and substantially expanded the paper’s readership in India.

Before the Times, Heather was the banking editor at BusinessWeek, where she covered the perils of the big bank business model and the danger of banks’ expansion into risky lending, corruption on Wall Street, and a post-9/11 New York. She began writing about banking and finance as a reporter with the Daily Deal and American Banker.

Heather starts on July 15. In the meantime, you can follow her on Twitter