For Upworthy, often the most important data is no data at all. In a Friday talk at the Columbia Journalism School, Daniel Mintz, director of Business Intelligence at Upworthy, explained that in many instances Upworthy does not make raw data about the success of its posts available to its curators.
“If the data doesn’t help us make better decisions, that’s not useful data, that clouds judgment,” he said. “We get into fights with staff, ‘don’t take our data away’, we hide that data, because it’s just distracting.”
Instead, Upworthy often replaced the data information with terms like “bestish” to offer insight to its curators on the reception of their content, or photos of Mintz with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.
That is part of Upworthy’s approach to using metrics to achieve its goal to “drawing massive attention to the things that really matter,” not just a massive number of clicks. “With clicks you can just keep clicking, ” he said, adding that the “zero sum game” is for attention to topics such as climate change, body image, media portrayal of women and bullying. Read more here.