Part of the reason we started the site, though, was that we've seen a *LOT* of amazing journalistic coups over the years that never actually go anywhere. Great news institutions put huge amounts of money, time, and resources into getting the scoops and crafting the prose. And then they hit publish and the piece just, like... sat there. Or it got 10,000 hits.
So our starting point, which definitely rubs a lot of folks from more traditional editorial culture the wrong way, is -- if a lot of people aren't paying attention, it really doesn't matter if you crafted the perfect story.
We also err on the side of emotional story-telling rather than rattling off facts and figures, because we think that's what usually sticks with people. (Great journalism, I think, does that too, but standard journalism often doesn't.)
In the best moments, we're able to bring all of those things together. The top thing this month may well be this piece we published yesterday: His First 4 Sentences Are Interesting. The 5th Blew My Mind. And Made Me A Little Sick.
As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles.
Eli [Pariser, Upworthy founder] : But I'd just so much rather be on the side of trying to make important stuff seem more fun and interesting -- and maybe be a little over the top tone-wise -- than the kind of Officially Boring headline-writing that mostly convinces people to skip over it entirely.
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