From 'This American Life' to The New York Times to Upworthy, Amy O'Leary's been trying to hold your attention

Amy O'Leary's career so far has taken her on a tour of some major places: "This American Life," The New York Times and now Upworthy, where she works as editorial director. O'Leary's at Poynter this week as a guest faculty member for the Poynter-ONA Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media. We caught up with her to talk about the … Read More

Upworthy lays off 14

Upworthy laid off 14 employees, Kelsey Sutton reported Friday for POLITICO. The company, which previously had 97 employees, made the move to focus more on video, Sutton reported. “This is an investment layoff,” (Upworthy co-founder Eli) Pariser told POLITICO. “It’s about us looking at our team and looking at our strategy and making this hard decision that we need … Read More

Upworthy made a push into original video, and you'll totally believe what happened next

A screenshot from one of Upworthy's original videos, "Why I Paint My Daughter's Nails," which has been viewed millions of times. It's hard to watch this video of Nathan Bond painting his daughter's nails without getting a little bit choked up. As soft acoustic guitar jangles in the background, the single father explains matter-of-factly that he and his 6-year-old … Read More

Upworthy launches freelancer program

Earlier this year, Upworthy announced it was hiring New York Times Deputy Editor Amy O’Leary to be its editorial director, part of a broader effort by the viral news site to produce more original work. O’Leary, widely regarded as a digital innovator at The Times, wrote at the time that her departure stemmed from a desire to "make sure … Read More

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

Hey, it's Tuesday. Media stories coming your way! 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 … Read More

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 … Read More

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 … Read More

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. — … Read More

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
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