Yesterday we interviewed Upworthy's co-founder Eli Pariser.
Upworthy is a media startup that launched seven months ago, and its traffic has skyrocketed to 8.7 million monthly unique visitors.
Part of Upworthy's traffic strategy is to mask meaningful (but occasionally boring) information as entertaining reads with colorful headlines. AllThingsD called it "viral with a purpose." Pariser firmly believes that if you can't get someone to click on a story with a catchy headline, they'll never find the information they should be reading.
"Generally, people aren't making important content to get the most monetization out of it. They're writing it because they care, but that [boring content with boring headlines] doesn't really have a home online. We don't mind tricking people into seeing content they'll love. If they don't love it, they're not going to share it. Virality is a balance of how good the packaging is and how good the content is."
Pariser referenced one of Upworthy's most successful articles to date, "The Real Reason They Still Play 'Mrs. Robinson' On The Radio."
"It's one of my favorite bank shot headlines we've done, and it was about a chart that showed media consolidation," says Pariser. "It's hard to get people worked up about media consolidation, but there was one part of the chart that said 80% of stations' playlists match all across the country and that Mrs. Robinson has played 6 million times. We took what was fun about the chart and stirred curiosity."
Here's the boring chart, that few people would have read with a more straight-forward headline (below). Pariser's team got it more than 4,000 likes on Facebook.
For the full interview with Pariser, check out: 8.7 Million Readers In 7 Months: How Upworthy Became The World's Fastest-Growing Media Company >
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