Upworthy

I think I mentioned that I have a new gig (I have so many gigs, you have no idea). I’m working for Upworthy, which is a social media site. The mission is to promote positive and informative content, packaged attractively so that people will actually click and share.

A friend who works there told me that they were hiring. She had worked with me at Rosetta Stone, and she thought I’d be pretty good at it. So I applied, and actually got the job! I asked for part-time, because JC had just gotten his new job, so we didn’t need to both be working full-time. With all the other things I have going on, plus childcare, it made more sense this way.

I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical of the whole thing at first. Like, maybe I’m the opposite of what people think of when they are hiring for a social media startup? But so is the friend who recruited me, and she seems to feel right at home there.

After a few weeks of online training (it’s all online–the whole company–they don’t have an office. It is awesome), they flew me to California to do some in-person training.

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One look at our digs in Palm Springs did a whole lot for adjusting my attitude…

4-IMG_20140510_150605It was an Air B&B house, and it was AMAZING. Seriously. Look at this.

The people were great. They had a serious sense of mission and purpose and science, all of which I found compelling. When they described how their plan was to use marketing techniques to get people to pay attention to socially important issues, all I could think of was when Joan Gantz Cooney said that Sesame Street makes “commercials for the alphabet.” And we all know how I feel about Sesame Street. When I called JC on the second night, I told him that I was having a Kool-Aid drinking experience that reminded me of Rosetta Stone, circa 2005, which is to say…potent.

I was having such a great time that, although I missed my family, I was kind of sad to leave.

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Not super-interesting or relevant, but George RR Martin was on my return flight from LA to DC. The red-eye was delayed, and I was kind of dozing on the floor of the airport, and then I woke up to hear a man who I had kind of registered as vaguely familiar, defending a particular egregious rape scene. I suddenly made a positive ID.

So now I’m home, and I’m writing for Upworthy. This means that I’m finding content (video, images, some audio) and creating and testing headlines and other framing things to see if I can convince people (you!) to click them.

Many people have asked what they can do to help, and I do appreciate all of the help I can get. The biggest two things are (1) help me scout content, and (2) click and share! As to the first–Upworthy (unlike its many imitators) is not kitten videos or that kind of thing. We’re looking for compelling and accessible content that makes big issues, like climate change or the conflict in Israel and Palestine, feel human and worth caring about. If you come across anything like that, please do send it along.

If you want to help me by sharing the stuff I post, you can find it all on my Upworthy curator page. I have a Facebook page and a Twitter…thingy, where I’m also posting these things, as well as other interesting stuff from the interwebs. I invite you to follow me there.

Just for a taste, here are some of my favorite things I’ve put on Upworthy so far. And remember, “Sharing is caring!”

A surprising personality quiz

An RPG that may save an ancient culture (no kidding!)

Skills training for teenagers that makes me kind of jealous of them

Big Media vs. real voices–where are we headed?

 

Oh, and here’s my Upworthy headshot, which I kind of like. It’s a selfie, taken with my DSLR held as far out as I can get it.

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