curators

How To Create The Fastest Growing Media Company In The World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/upworthy-how-to-create-a-fast-growing-media-company-2012-11

eli pariser ted upworthy

On March 26, 2012, a new media startup called Upworthy launched.

Today, it is the fastest growing media company in the world. Upworthy finished October with 7 million monthly uniques, up from 6 million the month prior. In August, it hit four million uniques, up from 2.5 million in July. Its fast growth was rewarded with $4 million from investors.

There are lots of media companies out there, but none have grown that quickly.

Are Upworthy’s growth and business model sustainable? We’re not sure, but either way the stats are impressive. We asked CEO and co-founder Eli Pariser what Upworthy has been doing to smash traffic records every month.

Here’s what he had to say.

Don’t write about politics.

Before he started Upworthy, Pariser worked for a digital, political publication, MoveOn. He and his co-founder, The Onion’s former Managing Editor, Peter Koechley, thought the upcoming election would drive traffic to Upworthy.

But people weren’t sharing much of Upworthy’s political content, so the pair ditched that angle and broadened the site’s coverage.

“We thought, ‘Ok, it’s an election year, people are going to be really interested in politics and the campaign, and we’ll get a leg up that way,’” Pariser says. “The election was our whole argument for starting Upworthy this year. But it turned out to be a total non-driver of growth. Of all our top pieces, only a couple deal with politics or the election.”

It can be tough for startups to let go of initial ideas and pivot to what’s working. But as soon as Pariser let go of! the pol itics angle, traffic soared.

Find story ideas on social media feeds, not other websites.

Upworthy’s curators don’t start their days surfing other websites for news. They surf social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook instead.

Sometimes it’s easier to highlight a conversation than to start a new one.

“We have our team of curators spending all their time looking on the Internet for stuff,” says Pariser. “We go for visible, sharable stories and really stay away from doing more typical, text-driven articles and blogging. We lean into images and videos.”

Focus on Facebook, not Twitter

Upworthy has found that Twitter is small traffic potatoes compared to Facebook. At the end of the day, Facebook is where the most people spend the vast majority of their time online.

“Facebook is a huge piece of the puzzle for us,” says Pariser. “Our Facebook community has grown from zero in March to over 600,000 likes.”

Pariser says Upworthy hasn’t done anything particularly brilliant to juice Facebook for traffic. It just spent a lot of time and energy cracking the social network.

“Honestly, I think part of [our success with it] is we take Facebook much more seriously than many of the other social networks,” he says. “I love Twitter, and Twitter is a fun place to hang out with smart people, but it’s a small fraction of our traffic compared to Facebook. The time and attention most sites spend on [perfecting] their homepages is probably what we spend on Facebook. If you look at our homepage, it’s pretty mediocre.”

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Monday, November 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Tumblr Blows Past 15 Billion Pageviews Per Month, Thumbing Nose At Old Media Thinking As It Goes

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/tumblr-blows-past-15-billion-pageviews-per-month-2012-1


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The latest social-media phenomenon, Tumblr, continues to post astounding traffic metrics.

Founder and CEO David Karp spoke at the DLD conference in Munich this morning, where he reiterated some of the company’s recent milestones:

  • 100+ million uniques per month
  • 15+ billion pageviews per month

Tumblr, which is basically halfway between a blogging platform and Twitter, allows users to post photos, videos, and text. Critically, it also allows users to “follow” each other and “re-blog” the posts of others.

The latter concepts, which Twitter has also capitalized on with amazing success (through “following” and “re-tweets”), inserts reblogged posts into each user’s timeline stream. Thus, anyone who “follows” a user, also sees the re-blogged posts.

This turns Tumblr users into editors and curators in addition to content creators. The sharing functionality allows posts to spread rapidly, just as links and headlines do on Facebook and Twitter. In Tumblr’s case, though, the whole post is shared, not just the headline and link.

It’s worth noting that this whole concept makes a mockery of the idea of traditional content “theft.” If someone “re-blogged” a traditional newspaper story, inserting it into their own site, the newspaper would probably scream bloody murder and sic lawyers on them. And yet, on Tumblr, those whose posts are “re-blogged” feel nothing but gratitude and pride (thanks for sharing my work!).

Some other stats from David Karp’s talk this morning (as tweeted by idealab founder Bill Gross and digital journalism guru Jeff Jarvis):

  • The average post is “re-blogged” 9 times
  • 90% of the posts on Tumblr are reblogs or groups (curation). 10% are original content creation.

In another DLD panel, Glam Media CEO Samir Arora remarked that the “old version of media was that you needed editors that work for you. In new era they don’t.”

Nowhere is that more clear than at Tumblr.

SEE ALSO: Check Out Tumblr’s Amazing New York Headquarters, Where All Those Pageviews Are Made

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Monday, January 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Affiliates Pining for Pinterest

Source: http://blog.compete.com/2012/01/05/affiliates-pining-for-pinterest/

AUTHOR: Lindsey Mark, Compete.com  — January 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

hot lips

Image from: akva / Shutterstock
Pinterest is the new popular kid on the Internet, getting featured in media outlets like celebrity gossip does on tabloids. What people aren’t talking about however is the opportunity that exists for more ‘behind the scenes businesses.’ Those amazing symbiotic or parasitic relationships where third parties benefit from Pinterest’s new hype, sort of like Entourage™ with a cast of publishers, affiliates, and merchants.

There are a few smart blogs out there talking about these trends, some are funny, like Regretsy.com’s compare and save section that features sellers that are ripping off buyers by reselling manufactured products for higher prices. Classic and often humorous examples of parasitic relationships.

Laughs aside, let’s take a look at one affiliate that’s been seeing some positive lift from Pinterest’s new-found fame. SkimLinks, an affiliate marketing technology with a “sweet twist” helps content creators and curators automate. Most publishers spend a majority of their time working on content and selling ad space. With SkimLinks, connecting affiliate links to content seems* like a snap and appears to be popular amongst monetized ‘pinners’ as a good option outside of the Amazon Affiliate Network. If November is any indication, the Pinterest & SkimLinks relationship is budding with Pinterest beating out Twitter as their number one inbound traffic referrer with a 9.47% Share of inbound traffic to the site. On the converse, SkimResources.com (a SkimLinks url) is ranked number 10 with 0.94% of outgoing traffic from Pinterest.com, just behind large networks like Etsy.com, Bing.com, YouTube.com, and Live.com. I anticipate that merchants that work with SkimLinks will have good things happen for them if Pinterest continues on the upswing, particularly as it’s often been framed in the context of wishlists & gifting.

Incoming Traffic to Skimlinks.com

Outgoing from Pinterest


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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 news No Comments

no wonder banner ads get so few clicks :-)

Add-Art Replaces Advertisements with Artwork

Firefox only (Windows/Mac/Linux): Add-Art is a unique advertisement-blocking solution for Firefox. Instead of simply deleting ads from the page, it replaces them with art by featured artists.

The open-source project was inspired by the popularity of ad-blocking Firefox extensions—Adblock Plus, the perennial Lifehacker favorite, is downloaded over 250,000 times a week—and a desire to put all those blocked pitches to good use. Artists are selected by a team of curators to have their work displayed, and the roster is rotated every two weeks. An interesting twist to the project is that the artists themselves can target sites with their artwork—it’ll be up to you to decide why there are photographs of unicorns wearing party hats during your daily reading of the New York Times. Add-Art won’t be too tempting to those who ad-block to streamline for speed or memory use, but for those tired of seeing “ONE WEIGHT LOSS RULE” and the like might just enjoy the web a bit more. Add-Art is free, works wherever Firefox does.

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 digital, marketing No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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