A major part of my gig at Yahoo! is to tell the story behind our stories, sharing our editorial successes and celebrating our content leadership. But I returned to my entertainment journalism roots as a contributing editor to Yahoo!’s record-breaking coverage of the Grammys and Oscars.
Moderating Yahoo!’s massive 2012 Grammys live blog, which attracted more than 130,000 visitors in six hours and peaked at over 10,000 active participants, was certainly a unique experience. In addition to writing about the awards show as it happened, I was pulling in select questions and comments from an endless stream of user generated content, as well as publishing relevant posts from the Yahoo! Music and official Grammy Twitter feeds. Here are a couple mashed-up examples of how we engaged our audience and added value for our users:
Things were a bit more relaxed for the Oscars. I contributed several articles on fashion to the Yahoo! Academy Awards blog, including an especially popular post on the Golden Girls of the Oscars that made it to the Yahoo! Homepage. Metallic sparklies have always had a special place in my heart.
So what records did our awards coverage break? Funny you should ask, because as soon as my editorial duties were done, I put my corporate storytelling hat back on and started digging through the data. The overarching bragging rights:
- Users spent over 270 million minutes consuming 2012 Academy Awards content on Yahoo!, a 23 percent increase from last year. Our Oscars coverage attracted 10.7 million unique visitors during the week of the awards show and drove nearly 500 million page views in total.
- Yahoo!’s record-setting coverage of the 2012 Grammy Awards drove over 700 million page views and 4 million video streams. On the day of and the day after the awards ceremony, users spent over 120 million minutes on our Grammys site, an 18 percent increase from last year.
It was an honor to play on both the content and the comms side for these tentpole events.
The Brag Sheet is my biggest project at Yahoo! in more ways than one. Published approximately twice a month and distributed to the entire company, it is over 15,000 words of bragging rights that prove Yahoo! is the world’s premier digital media company. Unfortunately it is an internal document, which means I can’t publish it here, and though it has become an indispensable resource for our employees and partners, 40-plus pages of facts isn’t exactly light reading.
In an effort to create a version of the Brag Sheet that was easy to consume and share, I developed the No. 1 infographic. This companion asset highlights the most popular data from the Brag Sheet in a single visualization. I was the creative director, data analyst and copy writer for this project. I worked with the fabulous folks at Fission Strategy on the initial design, but I kept my Adobe Illustrator skills fresh by updating the graphics every month with the latest worldwide comScore numbers. In addition to being our most downloaded visual asset, this infographic has been leveraged for quarterly All-Hands meetings and is frequently used by C-level execs.
Playing at the big purple mothership in Sunnyvale is a pretty sweet gig, but there are perks to working out of the Santa Monica office too, like easy access to the Hollywood Bowl for Yahoo!’s Decade of Difference Concert. Lady Gage, Bono, Kenny Chesney and a slew of celebrities helped us celebrate the Clinton Foundation’s tenth anniversary on Oct. 15. Check out my top five moments of the Clinton Concert on Yodel Anecdotal.
When the Storytelling Team was tasked with creating a video on Yahoo!’s content leadership, I immediately gravitated to the homepage. With 700 million visitors and 1 billion clicks per month, the sheer amount of traffic is truly awesome. But it is the combination of our proprietary Content Optimization and Relevance Engine (C.O.R.E.) and our award-winning journalists that make the homepage so special. Over 13 million personalized variations of the Today module are created each day, ensuring our visitors get the news they need and the content they love.
I directed the video, wrote the script, interviewed our experts on camera and managed our fabulous production team from Beyondpix Studios in San Francisco. The best part of this project was getting to work with some of the coolest Yahoos at the company. They personify the elusive combination of science plus art plus scale that Yahoo! strives for in every product.
story of the yahoo homepage on Vimeo.
I can barely believe it, but it’s official… I’m the newest member of Yahoo!’s Storytelling Team. Yes, my title will be Storyteller, and I’ll be bringing a creative twist to corporate communications and brand management. My first day will be Dec. 6 at headquarters in Sunnyvale. Which means in addition to starting an exciting new job, I’ll be moving from Austin to the Bay Area. A crazy and incredible end to 2010!