Articles about "Upworthy"


Facebook and Twitter Applications on Ipad

Times of India publisher to staffers: Give us your social media passwords if you’re posting news

mediawiremorningHey, it’s Tuesday. Media stories coming your way!

  1. Strict, strange social-media policy at Times of India: Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd staffers have been told not to post news stories from their personal social media accounts; instead, they must create company-authorized accounts, according to Quartz India. Even weirder: the company — which publishes The Times of India and The Economic Times — “will possess log-in credentials to such accounts and will be free to post any material to the account without journalists’ knowledge,” Sruthijith KK reports. (Quartz India) | Quartz-related: How often should a site launch a redesign, like Quartz just did? Mario Garcia: “The answer varies, and there is a basic principle I follow: redesign (and/or rethink) when you need it.” (Garcia Media)
  2. NYT’s controversial Michael Brown profile: New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan writes that calling Michael Brown “no angel” in a profile of the 18-year-old killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri, was “a blunder.” (Public Editor’s Journal) | Times national editor Alison Mitchell told Erik Wemple that the phrase derived from the story’s lead, which told an anecdote about Brown seeing a vision of an angel. (Erik Wemple) | The Times has used the term “no angel” in the past to refer to Al Capone, Whitey Bulger and one of the Columbine killers. (Vanity Fair) | The profile was written by John Eligon. (The New York Times) | Austin Kleon’s “newspaper blackout” poem from Monday:
  3. Facebook cracks down on clickbait: How does Facebook define clickbait? It’s “when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see.” (Facebook) | “Algorithm tweaks don’t change the bottom line: Facebook is in charge of what you see,” Mathew Ingram writes. (GigaOm) | Upworthy’s Adam Mordecai is “stoked” about the news. (Twitter) | “We welcome a focus from Facebook on engaged time,” an Upworthy spokesperson told John McDermott. (Digiday) | Previously: Upworthy released code for its “attention minutes” metric meant to go beyond clicks. (Poynter) | Previously: Facebook’s Mike Hudack famously — and ironically? — ranted against the shallowness of U.S. news in May. (Poynter)

  4. How American journalist was released in Syria: Before Peter Theo Curtis was freed on Sunday, Qatar “had been working on the case for months at the request of the Obama administration.” David Bradley, chairman and owner of Atlantic Media Co., and a former FBI agent had traveled to Doha to meet with the Qataris, Adam Goldman and Karen DeYoung report. Officials insist no ransom was paid. (Washington Post)
  5. An ‘emotional cauldron’ after James Foley’s death: “When the press isn’t panicked about the Islamic State, it’s confused,” Jack Shafer writes. “Enemies exist, of course. But boogeymen don’t.” (Reuters)
  6. Ken Doctor on Gannett’s “newsrooms of the future”: “It’s easy to paint the laying off/buying out of veterans as simply getting rid of the digitally clueless. There’s some of that, of course, but this is mainly a financial exercise, as is most of the change we see sweeping the American news industry this year.” (Nieman Lab) | Previously: Gannett exec: Goal of reshuffled newsrooms is to invest “fewest resources necessary in production.” (Poynter)
  7. AP expands food columns: “Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian will join AP’s team of kitchen authorities, taking over ‘The Healthy Plate,’ a weekly column aimed at helping home cooks discover the healthier side of everyday ingredients,” according to a press release. (AP)
  8. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: John Batter will be CEO of Gracenote. Previously, he was CEO of M-GO. (Tech Crunch) | Mark Jurkowitz is the owner of the Outer Banks Sentinel in Nags Head, North Carolina. Previously, he was the associate director of Pew Research Center’s journalism project. (Romenesko) | Jon Ward is a senior political correspondent with Yahoo News. Previously, he was a political reporter for the Huffington Post. (Politico) | Shauna Rempel is now a social media strategist for Global News. Previously, she was social media and technology editor at the Toronto Star. (Muck Rack) | Chris Tisch is now business editor for the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, he was assistant metro editor there. (Tampa Bay Times) | Nathan Lump is now editor of Travel and Leisure. Previously, he was director of branded content at Condé Nast. (Time Inc.) | Job of the day: The San Antonio Express-News is looking for a web producer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would you like this roundup each morning? This week, please email me: skirkland@poynter.org. You can reach your regular roundup guy at: abeaujon@poynter.org


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Forest

Should publishers be taking better advantage of evergreen content in their archives?

For most publishers, less than 10 percent of June page views came from traffic to evergreen articles — stories that were more than three days old by Parse.ly’s definition.

Among the publishers included in the analytics company’s data: Upworthy, Conde Nast properties, The Atlantic properties, Fox News, The New York Post, Mashable, Slate, Business Insider, The Daily Beast, The Next Web and The New Republic.

Nearly half of the publishers see less than 5 percent of their web traffic attributed to content that is more than three days old, according to Parse.ly:

parselyevergreen

Unsurprisingly, Parse.ly found that topic-specific sites generally received a higher percentage of traffic from evergreen stories than breaking-news sites did. Upworthy doesn’t include timestamps in its stories, and many of Slate’s pieces are less time-sensitive than stories from The New York Post or Fox News and thus more likely to have a long shelf life of shareability. The mileage you get out of people coming across old stories varies a lot depending on what kind of content you have.

Parse.ly uses the data to suggest that publishers should actively take advantage of archive material, not just passively observe readers coming across it via search: “Integrating evergreen posts into your distribution strategies can attract and grow readership without having to increase editorial costs.”

New York Magazine and Business Insider

At Nieman Lab, Joshua Benton recently highlighted a 10-month-old New York Magazine piece that became the second-most popular story on the site thanks to the magazine posting it on Facebook “as if it were a new story.”

The story, “Why I’m Glad I Quit New York at Age 24,” naturally received lots of complaints on Facebook, but only one commenter, Julian Garcia, mentioned the fact that it wasn’t new: “You constantly post this article.”

Readers might not care so much about newness if a timeless feature or essay is good, but there’s certainly an expectation that most of what you see on Facebook is new news. It’s called the News Feed, after all, so transparency when it comes to old stories seems important. Then again, I wonder if the Facebook post would have taken off like it did and reached so many interested readers if it had come with a “from the archives” disclaimer. Would it have biased readers against reading a story they’d otherwise be interested in?

Here’s a good example from Deadspin, which identified a news hook for sharing an old story on Friday. The tweet is transparent about when the story was originally published, but the note about when it was published isn’t so prominent that it was likely to be a turn-off:

Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton also recently reported on how some media organizations are strategically resurrecting old content. He notes that Business Insider resurfaced a four-month-old story, “7 Reasons You Should Teach Your Children To Speak French,” for Bastille Day. That satisfies our journalistic urge to justify resurfacing old content with a current news hook. But Business Insider’s rationale for putting an October 2013 article about “How Sugar Is Destroying The World” back on the site’s homepage this month is less clear.

Bilton goes on to note:

The trouble comes when publishers confuse readers. Just look at the Business Insider story: Not only was it given a new timestamp on the homepage, but it was also placed among all of Business Insider’s legitimately new content without any special labeling. Someone visiting the homepage, unless they were surprised to see Perlberg’s name again on a new story, would not have any idea the piece was old.

Does resurfacing old content require a news hook?

In February, I noticed a 2013 Poynter post about the first season of “House of Cards” was performing well on Chartbeat thanks to search referrals. Because season two had just been released on Netflix, I felt comfortable sharing it again on Twitter.

But what about Roy Peter Clark’s defense of the Oxford comma, which was a big hit this year and certainly addressed a timeless topic? Would our readers feel deceived or cheated in some way if we pushed it out again in January without any specific news hook? Or would it be serving our readers well to strategically extend the life of this evergreen content and distribute it to those who may have missed it the first time around?

That’s how New York Magazine’s Stefan Becket justified reposting Friedman’s piece on Facebook:

On Twitter, journalists frequently preface links they share with a “late to this” disclaimer — even if the content is only a day or two old. My instincts say it’s weird to dig up old content without a specific reason, but it’s worth asking if our hyper-sensitivity to timeliness can get in the way of serving readers who might not care as much about news hooks or newness as we do.

So on a slow day, why not try sharing something evergreen from the archives like New York Magazine did — but with a Deadspin-style note indicating when it was published — and see how readers respond? As Parse.ly says, it doesn’t cost a thing.


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch is not giving up, the BBC cuts hundreds of jobs

mediawiremorningGood morning. Let’s do this. Read more

Tools:
3 Comments

Survey: Readers feel deceived by branded content

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day, and from Kristen Hare, a world roundup):

At Nieman Lab, Alberto Cairo takes data journalism sites Vox and FiveThirtyEight to task for “worrying cracks that may undermine their own core principles.”

— Two-thirds of respondents to a survey by Contently “said they felt deceived when they realized an article or video was sponsored by a brand,” Erin Griffith writes at Fortune. And most readers don’t even understand what “sponsored content” means.

— Speaking of branded content and native ads, Upworthy claims many of its branded posts outperform editorial posts. Ben Young, CEO of Nudge, tells Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton that it makes sense that native ads “you’ve been working on for two weeks” would perform better than daily content.

— Between January 1 and June 30, Marc Andreessen tweeted 21,783 times, “more than any of Twitter’s founders have posted since its creation, and an average of five tweets per hour, every hour.” Dan Frommer breaks down that craziness at Quartz.

Glenn Greenwald’s not happy about how moderators of Reddit’s world news section are filtering out stories from The Intercept because they consider it “opinion” content. “Reddit is practicing censorship, pure and simple,” he said in an AMA.


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
1 Comment

Upworthy releases ‘attention minutes’ code; Sports Illustrated to relaunch website

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day):

Upworthy has released sample code for its “attention minutes” system of measuring engagement. “We actually use attention minutes as a core company goal,” Ed Urgola, Upworthy’s head of marketing, tells Fiona Lowenstein at CJR.

This week, Sports Illustrated becomes the latest Time Inc. magazine to undergo a website refreshing to be more mobile- and video-friendly, Emma Bazilian writes in Adweek. Poynter covered the redesigns of Time and Fortune and Money earlier this year.

Online news and politics videos are watched to the end 43 percent of the time, according to a Coull analysis of 12 million video plays. “The US and South Africa lead the way, with almost half of all online videos watched all the way through.”

Here’s how Twitter lit up around the world during the U.S.-Portugal World Cup match on Sunday:

“Anyone who doesn’t love Twitter is an idiot,” says Dan Snow (who still uses a BlackBerry) in a Guardian Q&A with Michael Hogan.

Does social media have an influence on your purchasing decisions? Most respondents to a Gallup poll said it doesn’t, Jeff Elder reports in the Wall Street Journal.

Circa will err on the side of not publishing the names of mass killers whenever possible, Evan Buxbaum wrote in a Medium post Friday. Poynter’s Al Tompkins and Roy Peter Clark recently advocated for doing the opposite.


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

The Day in Digital: Inside the New York Times CMS and the impending Amazon phone

Content management systems are so in this season. Luke Vnenchak has a fascinating look inside Scoop, The New York Times’s “homegrown digital and (soon-to-be) print CMS.”

Jeff Bezos is expected to announce an Amazon smartphone today. How can the company compete with Apple, Android and Samsung? Quartz’s Dan Frommer has some thoughts on the strategy.

The Atlantic’s in good shape, for lots of reasons. Here’s another one, from a Jeff Sonderman tweet during American Press Institute’s summit on video:

Media critics weren’t critical enough of Aaron Kushner’s print-centric strategy at the Orange County Register, Clay Shirky writes, helping to poison the minds of young people who need to understand that print is in a death spiral from which it can’t recover.

“Do you really need another app for sharing photos and videos with your friends?” Ina Fried asks at Re/code as Facebook releases its new Snapchat competitor, Slingshot.

At PBS MediaShift, Dorian Benkoil explores efforts by Chartbeat, Upworthy, the Financial Times and more to measure “what advertisers and publishers really want — people actually paying attention.”

Yahoo revealed its worldwide workplace diversity. Employees are overwhelmingly white and Asian, and 62 percent male.


!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
screenshot _depositphotos

As reporters get measured, why even BuzzFeed, Upworthy aren’t beholden to numbers

Audience-based accountability can be scary for reporters, especially if it’s based on imperfect page-view metrics that don’t account for the fact that what’s journalistically important isn’t always what’s popular.

So how do we acknowledge the fact that our journalism exists to be read even as we remain suspicious of purely readership-based assessments of our work? Here’s how Rick Edmonds put it in his recap of the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference in Denver last week:

I don’t think anyone is saying that data science will fully replace “gut” calls on what to cover and play prominently. But as leading practice on digital-only sites shows, hard real-time evidence of how stories perform is both a valuable supplement to old-timey news judgment and a check on bad choices.

Read more
Tools:
1 Comment

Nitsuh Abebe writes about Upworthy, which “publishes both some of the web’s most successful material and some of its most widely mocked and reviled.”

“I think marketing in a traditional sense, for commercialism–marketing to get you to buy ­McDonald’s or something–is crass,” says Sara Critchfield, the site’s editorial director. “But marketing to get people’s attention onto really important topics is a noble pursuit. So you take something that in one context is very crass and you put it in another. People will say, ‘That’s very crass,’ but in the service of doing something good for humanity, I think it’s pretty great.” This happens often when you ask questions about Upworthy: It turns out that whatever you were curious about is actually wonderful, because it’s ultimately in the service of the good of humankind. Would you need to be a black-hearted monster to feel that there must be a catch? Or that one will arrive next month, when Upworthy is slated to announce its long-awaited monetization strategy?

Nitsuh Abebe, New York

Tools:
0 Comments
SXSW2014_Logo_Platinum_CMYK-220

Upworthy co-founder at SXSW: ‘This is what media should do’

The cofounder of Upworthy, speaking at South by Southwest Interactive on Monday, called for traditional news organizations to find better ways to engage readers with important journalism that previously never had to worry so much about promoting itself.

Grilled by David Carr of The New York Times on Monday, Eli Pariser defended Upworthy’s viral headline tactics with free market language: “We don’t do well unless people like what we do so much that they share it.”

He emphasized Upworthy’s social mission, rejecting Carr’s challenge that some of the site’s content constitutes clickbait without a cause. The site is partnering with ProPublica and advocacy groups for climate change and human rights, and recently shared a video by Lean In about girls being called “bossy.”

Pariser also pointed to a video of aggressive stop-and-frisk tactics in New York that was viewed 17 million times in five days. The 13-minute video isn’t “anybody’s idea of viral content,” Pariser said, but it gave viewers a powerful glimpse into a world they might not be familiar with.

“For me this is what media should do, which is help us understand what life for other people is like,” he said. “In a democratic society that’s really important. … this makes me care about something that I only knew about in the abstract.”

(When Carr asked what the headline on the Upworthy post was, Pariser said he couldn’t remember. It was Meet The 17-Year-Old Who Blew The Lid Off Racial Profiling With His iPod.)

Headlines that oversell?

If you grant Upworthy’s claim that every piece of content can be defended on its merits as addressing an important social issue, it seems unfair to lump the site in with other viral sensations like BuzzFeed (where sideboob goes to “a whole new level”) and ViralNova (where what happens to Peruvian guinea pigs at a festival will make you go OMG), as Esquire did in its The Year We Broke the Internet piece.

Yet Upworthy’s headlines present an interesting question of whether the ends — consuming meaningful content — justify the means. One question-asker at the SXSW session remarked that, although he often likes what Upworthy shares, he thought headlines too often overpromise or are not representative of the content. (Carr summed up the feeling of some viral critics: “You’re not making the news more interesting, you’re making the news sound more interesting.”)

Pariser (a progressive who didn’t want to talk much about an Upworthy political mission) again said the invisible hand of the Web would take care of that: If people feel tricked, they’ll stop visiting the site.

How quickly might that happen? Quantcast data — short-sighted Business Insider reporting to the contrary — indicate Upworthy’s traffic has generally stabilized after its much-ballyhooed spike in November.

What can traditional news media learn?

If The New York Times shoots itself in the foot by underselling its content with bland headlines (see: Obama’s New Approach Takes a Humorous Turn), Upworthy could have the opposite problem: headlines that oversell content and possibly betray readers’ trust.

Still, the traditional news media has to recognize the important of people actually, y’know, reading its stuff (as Carr put it, analytics people in newsrooms often keep traffic data about painstakingly reported stories to themselves because “it would break our hearts”).

Quote-unquote important journalism used to get an “artificial leg up,” Pariser said, by virtue of its A1 placement at newspapers. Readers on their way to the home and garden section or crossword might have some incidental contact with the important news of the day (which is similar to how Facebook users come across their news; social media sites are the new bundlers).

Now, digital unbundling means news has to stand on its own. Bloggers have already started to learn from viral sensations — see the Washington Post’s “Know More” blog, which I’ve written about.

The Upworthy lesson: headlines and packaging matters, but no one wants to be manipulated into clicking. Maybe you get more hits in the short-term, but readers could start to think twice before following your links in the future. If I like a video but still feel a little disappointed my head is still intact, was it worth promising my head would explode just to get me inside the door?

Then again, 60 million monthly unique views and a feeling that you’re accomplishing something meaningful seems well worth some negative attention. And there’s always the chance that the Upworthy brand becomes so strong that it can tone down the hard-sell headlines now that it’s made such a big name for itself.

Read more

Tools:
1 Comment
SXSW2014_Logo_Platinum_CMYK1 100x100

Poynter at SXSW: Algorithms, Journalism and Democracy

Editor’s Note: Poynter will be at South by Southwest, the annual music, movie and interactive festival, March 7-16, in Austin, Texas. Look for our Poynter faculty members, Roy Peter Clark, Ellyn Angelotti and Kelly McBride, and digital media reporter Sam Kirkland. Here is the third in a series of posts on what we’ll be doing at SXSW.

Algorithms control the marketplace of ideas. They grant power to certain information as it flies through the digital space and take power away from other information. Algorithms control who sees what on social-media sites such as Facebook and YouTube, through search engines such as Google and Bing, and even in defined news spaces such as The New York Times, with its lists of most-shared and most-commented features, and Yahoo News.

Just ask some poor guy who’s tried to get his old DUI photo removed from a scurrilous mug-shot site. Having your old mug shot out there in the ether isn’t so bad, except when it turns up on the first page of a Google search for your name. That mug-shot sites were able to make a killing by charging to remove information is a testament to the power of algorithms. That Google and other search engines were able to penalize mug-shot sites (after The New York Times and other news organizations drew attention to the scummy practice) is a testament to the mysterious power of the people who control the algorithms.

This used to be the job of editors, whom we described as gatekeepers. Those editors were flawed human beings, biased by their own perspectives. And it was hard to hold them accountable because their process for making decisions was a private one.

But algorithms are by their very nature biased, meant to give priority to some information and de-emphasize other information. And it’s even harder to determine the biases of an algorithm than it is to determine the biases of a human editor.

If you’re concerned with democracy, you’re in favor of holding algorithms accountable for their impact on the marketplace of ideas.

Nicholas Diakopoulos argues in a paper issued this month for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism that journalists are the natural check on powerful algorithms. His report is aptly titled Algorithmic Accountability Reporting: On the Investigation of Black Boxes.

How can journalists demystify algorithms? First by observing and describing how certain algorithms are working. Then by questioning the assumptions. And finally by reverse-engineering those algorithms to force more transparency into the system.

Diakopoulos offers a methodology for doing so, which includes isolating the algorithm, testing it with a valid sample, talking to sources, and then revealing newsworthy findings. His process requires a certain base of knowledge and familiarity with how algorithms work. But one need not be a computer programmer to do this work — the report cites several examples of such journalism and describes how the reporters arrived at their conclusions.

This method very much follows the scientific method, Diakopoulos writes. I would argue that certain communities and audiences could be enlisted to help with the work.

Deciphering algorithms is more than just determining how they work. It’s also describing why certain information or information providers are so much better at optimizing certain algorithms. For instance, Upworthy got really good at the Facebook algorithm late last year. Then Facebook changed its algorithm, apparently de-emphasizing Upworthy because it doesn’t create original content. As a result, another site, Mental Floss, saw a huge benefit.

Describing what’s happening in algorithms is a critical function of journalism. Why is this type of informed analysis crucial to democracy?

  • It informs citizens and makes them more literate. The more people know about why they organically get certain information and have to hunt for other information, they more they know what to hunt for.
  • It holds the powerful accountable. Most private companies are never going to reveal what values they prioritize. But helping citizens decipher the apparent values gives them the power to pressure companies to be honest brokers.
  • It levels the playing field, sharing information held by a few with the masses.

Betaworks’ Chief Data Scientist Gilad Lotan and I will team up for a SXSW session exploring Algorithms, Journalism and Democracy on Sunday, March 9, at 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT), at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Related: Poynter at SXSW: The ins and outs of Twibel | Poynter at SXSW: Welcome back to the WED dance Read more

Tools:
1 Comment