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November 24, 2013 12:17 PM   Subscribe

"This White Male Aged 18-49 Had An Idea. The Best Part? People Listened" and more incredible stories on Upworthy: Springfield.
posted by griphus (51 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
You won't BELIEVE what this VC-backed website is doing to drive page views!
posted by jcreigh at 12:31 PM on November 24, 2013 [21 favorites]


Single Link Upworthy Thing?

This is funny, by the way!
posted by salishsea at 12:34 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uhh, can someone explain what this is?
posted by !Jim at 12:38 PM on November 24, 2013


Ah! Not actually Upworthy. Upworthy parody. SLTumblr.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:38 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I believe they are parodying Upworthy link-bate articles using Simpson references.
posted by sbutler at 12:39 PM on November 24, 2013


Upworthy is a site that formulates headlines (and does everything else it does) in a way designed to maximize sharing and linking and stuff. The Simpsons is a tv show. This is a Tumblr which... dang, too slow.
posted by box at 12:39 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's a fine parody of a site which comes *this close* to being a fine parody of itself. Right down to the popups.
posted by salishsea at 12:41 PM on November 24, 2013


I just want box to follow me around for a day explaining everything around me with this level of thoroughness.
posted by !Jim at 12:42 PM on November 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


Surprisingly few of these feature Lisa storylines.

"Her Dedication to this Dying Jazzman, Even After Her Father Promised to Buy her a New One, Will Make You Cry in the Most Awesome Way."
posted by codacorolla at 1:15 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


This Man Ate 64 Slices of Something You Might Have In Your Refrigerator. Find Out What Happened To Him.


Learn The Trick This Police Chief Used To Open His Pudding Can.


The Better Way To Get Ice That The Government Doesn't Want You To Know About.


Learn The Important Facts Missing From Every Post Office Manual.


How A Father Found Out The One Thing You Should Never Say On An Adoption Application.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:22 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Find Out How One Man Used Cloves, Toms Collins Mix, and Frozen Pie Crust To Create A Culinary Sensation
posted by Cash4Lead at 1:26 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


This Father Discovered An Amazing Thing You Can Do With $20. Learn His Secret, And How You Can Do It Too.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:28 PM on November 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Her Brother Said She Couldn't Play Hockey. What Happened Next Will Leave You Speechless."
posted by codacorolla at 1:28 PM on November 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised there wasn't this pop-up:

Would you say it's time for our viewers to crack each other's heads open and feast on the goo inside?

[ ] Yes I Would, Kent
[ ] No I Wouldn't, Kent

posted by Cash4Lead at 1:36 PM on November 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


More mocking Upworthy, please!
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:16 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


The "I find your ideas intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter" pop-up was excellent.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:35 PM on November 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hate Upworthy.
posted by Apoch at 2:37 PM on November 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


So someone sent me this slidehow, "How to make that one thing go viral," about how Upworthy works, and I thought it was a cruel yet painfully accurate parody of Upworthy, but then at some point about halfway through I realized it is actually from Upworthy and this is how they see themselves.
posted by escabeche at 2:42 PM on November 24, 2013 [32 favorites]


Didn't we just have a LOLUPWORTHY thread?
posted by pxe2000 at 3:25 PM on November 24, 2013


pxe2000: "Didn't we just have a LOLUPWORTHY thread"

And it's been far too long since!
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:35 PM on November 24, 2013


DoctorFedora: "escabeche: "So someone sent me this slidehow, "How to make that one thing go viral," about how Upworthy works, and I thought it was a cruel yet painfully accurate parody of Upworthy, but then at some point about halfway through I realized it is actually from Upworthy and this is how they see themselves"

clicked through to the link and to make a long story short brb can't stop barfing
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:37 PM on November 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


A principal told these teachers, "purple monkey dishwasher." The story of how they fought back will embiggen the smallest man.
posted by Xalf at 3:45 PM on November 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


The amazing thing about escabeche's link is I think it's supposed to be motivational, like something they show new hires to get them excited about their job.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:50 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks, escabeche, that was quite enlightening.

I've done content aggregation/repackaging in the past (I'm sorry), though fortunately I didn't have to be as... manipulative as these guys, but it's interesting to see their process. The only thing that raised my eyebrows* was that their writers have to do 25 freaking headlines for every post. I write headlines for a living, and this still sounds like a special level of hell to me. (Arguably not terrible experience for an enthusiastic new grad in their first job, though).

Sometimes I wish I didn't know the kind of headlines people and click and share, though. I work in newspapers, but we typically still rewrite headlines for the web these days. I want people to read our stories (because they're good stories), but there are internal battles when you know a particular headline will get thousands more clicks/shares on Facebook, but you don't want to pander to the lowest common denominator, either.

* (ok, there was a second thing that raised my eyebrows: "Don't form an opinion for the end user. Let them do that." The Upworthy headlines that say "You'll never believe..." are one of the reason I have blocked the site from my Facebook feed. Don't tell me what I'll believe, website.)
posted by retrograde at 4:07 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I tried to navigate that slideshow on my phone, and Siri started screaming random curse words in several different languages. Barely made it back here.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:07 PM on November 24, 2013


"I write headlines for a living, and this still sounds like a special level of hell to me. (Arguably not terrible experience for an enthusiastic new grad in their first job, though)."

TAKE METH WRITE HEADLINES TAKE METH WRITE HEADLINES

(I have to do this shit at work, and it's awkward because I'd rather have good content but that's HARD and it feels skeezy to try to bait people into clicking mediocre stuff.)
posted by klangklangston at 4:37 PM on November 24, 2013


You'll Never Believe What This Cat's Breath Smells Like
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:28 PM on November 24, 2013 [18 favorites]


Sweet crunchy delicious mockery. I loved the "Cannons are designed to Hurt [ ] Agree [ ] Disagree" popup.


Why do I dislike UpWorthy so damn much? Makes me GRAR.
posted by bunderful at 5:38 PM on November 24, 2013


THEY HAVE THE PLANT- CLICK INSIDE TO FIND OUT WHAT WE HAVE
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:41 PM on November 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who Needs the Kwik-E-Mart? You Do!
posted by tonycpsu at 5:44 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


You'll Never Believe What This Boy Is When He Sleeps… Nor the Fights it's Caused.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:51 PM on November 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


That said, the Upworthy slideshow feels like the internet version of Desperately Uncool Adult Tries to Sound Cool, like they've just taken out all the skateboards and stereo rock music and replaced them with Advice Animals from six years ago
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:53 PM on November 24, 2013


You'll Cry When You See How Much One Convenience Store Means to This Man.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:16 PM on November 24, 2013


Unorthodox Clothing: Find out what this man's vest is made of!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:26 PM on November 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


That said, the Upworthy slideshow feels like the internet version of Desperately Uncool Adult Tries to Sound Cool

It's more like Internet Advertising Hipsters Desperately Try to Sound Uncool Enough to get Your Adult Mom to Post a Video On Her Facebook Page.
posted by straight at 6:35 PM on November 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


As if Upworthy wasn't bad enough, there are hundreds of copycat sites that rely on the same formula, but with a truther / conservative / far right christian bent to them that I have to wade through on my newsfeed every day - not even being posted by far right people, just that they've found the right emotionally manipulative buttons to push in the content that they "aggregate" (that means steal) from other sources.
posted by codacorolla at 6:47 PM on November 24, 2013


Upworthy is a site that formulates headlines (and does everything else it does) in a way designed to maximize sharing and linking and stuff.

By increasing page views, Upworthy can display more advertisements and earn more money. Money can be exchanged for goods and services.
posted by domnit at 8:17 PM on November 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


So there is something even more obnoxious than TED talks now?
posted by winna at 8:50 PM on November 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


That said, the Upworthy slideshow feels like the internet version of Desperately Uncool Adult Tries to Sound Cool

Hey Dudemeisters, You'll Never Believe What This Radically X-treme Pooch Did on His Way Back to His Home Planet! *sweet guitar riff*
posted by lovecrafty at 8:50 PM on November 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


By increasing page views, Upworthy can display more advertisements and earn more money. Money can be exchanged for goods and services.

Technically, I don't think they have any third-party ads on the site (unless there are ones I can't see?). According to the company, this is how it makes money.
posted by retrograde at 9:42 PM on November 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


One boy is a viking in his dreams. Find out why the whole internet is debating what this means.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 9:44 PM on November 24, 2013


Fascinating, retrograde. Instead of selling the audience to advertisers, they are selling it to do-gooders (depending on one's idea of doing good).
posted by notyou at 6:31 AM on November 25, 2013


You won't believe what this man had to do just to get past a few rakes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:24 AM on November 25, 2013


This man passed up a chance to meet Mr. T at the mall. The life lesson he learned will inspire you.

A rock is believed to keep tigers away. Read about the amazing girl who challenged the conventional wisdom and profited!

You won't believe where you might remember this famous actor from.

These aliens wanted to cook for forty humans. An intergalectic peace gesture that will warm your heart, and the human response that will shock you.

Don't bother calling 911. Read about the REAL number the government doesn't want you to know.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 8:07 AM on November 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter holds a Simpsons-themed extended riffing session. Read about the wiki page that was updated to record the whole thing for posterity!
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 8:35 AM on November 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


they are selling it to do-gooders (depending on one's idea of doing good).

Wellll non-profits aren't implicitly "good," and they also say "and other groups," which could be anyone, really. It's a clever piece of marketing, though, because when you read it, you think, "Oh, they're just going to give my email address to Amnesty International or Greenpeace or someone. That's fine!" People associate the word "non-profit" with puppies and rainbows, but really, what they're saying is, "We work with non-profits... and also everyone else." It's like writing, "Metafilter is populated by really good looking commenters and other people."
posted by retrograde at 8:42 AM on November 25, 2013


Is this futuristic innovation for you? Or is it more of a Shelbyville idea? The answer will surprise you.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:44 AM on November 25, 2013


Hell, even the use of a fast-and-loose infographic ahead of the actual text of the privacy policy is a clever piece of marketing. The proprietors of a linkbait website know better than most how few people will go on to read the words.
posted by box at 12:07 PM on November 25, 2013


A reminder that this shit's not for amateurs.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:27 PM on November 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


However: Even the actual privacy policy suggests (though I admit it's not 100% clear on this point) that all sharing of information is to be opt-in.
posted by thegears at 3:15 PM on December 3, 2013


Classic Works of Literature as Upworthy Headlines
posted by box at 7:45 AM on December 6, 2013


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