Sep 9th

How UCLA used Buzzfeed to generate some of its highest engagement ever on social media


“Readers have become minipublishers, using social media platforms to share information they think will entertain and enlighten their friends.”

-David Carr, NY Times

Today, a large amount of traffic is driven via social media sharing. As readers have become minipublishers, content that becomes viral is often emotional and easy to understand. Enter Buzzfeed. Love them or hate them, Buzzfeed has changed the way people consume content online. Famous for lists and quizzes, it has now become a disruptive force in the online publishing industry, overtaking traditional publishers like the NY Times.

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Mar 18th

Understanding user search behavior

Image of search icon

Search analytics can show important keywords users use to find or navigate your website, but there are many tasks users don’t search for or only search indirectly for. As Gerry McGovern explains:

When we did a top tasks study of MBA students we found that their top task revolved around asking this question: “How does your MBA program help me advance my career?” The final three words—advance my career—were very powerful when put into a link. But these words never came up in search statistics. You see, there are many tasks that people either don’t search for or only search indirectly for.

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Mar 13th

The design of restaurant menus

IHOP Menu Items

Restaurant menus can be long and difficult to navigate, especially when too many choices are offered. The menu is seen as one of the most important representations of the brand.  At IHOP, executives were confronted with a challenge.

“We clearly knew that improving and optimizing our menu was priority number one.”

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Jan 8th

NY Times social media team shares lessons learned in 2013

The team that runs NY Times Twitter accounts (@nytimes) has a great write-up looking back at 2013.  They analyzed what worked and what didn’t by examining their most successful tweets to see what connected with their readers and how investment of editorial efforts paid.

“In other cases, a small amount of editorial effort was the difference between one of the best tweets of the year and a headline from print that was less effective in the context of social media.”

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Mar 25th

Instagram’s 3 keys to success

At the beginning of 2012, Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom sat down with Kevin Rose to talk about the company, how it was started and what made it successful. A few months later, it was sold to Facebook for $1 billion.

When Instagram started it had 3 goals:

  1. Make photos beautiful and inspiring
  2. Integrate social so people would share photos
  3. Create a great user experience

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