Voices

Twitter’s Paradox, and 4 Other Stories You Should Read

Here’s what you missed while you were registering to vote (you were doing that, right?)…

McSweeney’s: Are You the Next Rock Star Social Media Manager Who’s Willing to Literally Die for Content?

Selected by Noah Waldman, editorial intern

Today is my last day as Contently’s editorial intern, which means I’ve been on the job hunt, which means I’ve been seeing a lot of job listings that look exactly like this, only not satirical.

Who is even writing job listings like this anymore? By this point, shouldn’t everyone know that this “rock star social media manager” doesn’t exist? Nobody is, or should be, this passionate about social content—and this is coming from someone who fully admits liking content marketing.

I enjoy the challenge of trying to align a brand with media experiences people actually want to watch or read. And I think it’s cool how brands employ creative folk, allowing them to get paid while flexing their creative muscles within the constraints of company messaging.

But you, me, and every content employee in the world know that it’s a job, not a calling. And we’re not rock stars or ninjas; statistically, we’re near-sighted white guys in hoodies.

The Guardian: Man v rat: could the long war soon be over?

Selected by Shane Snow, co-founder

This story is about rats, but if you replace the word “rat” with “content marketer,” it’s enormously entertaining. Also, the piece taught me more than my entire high school science experience.

The Ringer: Late-Night TV Is Not Built for This Election

Selected by Brian Maehl, talent development manager

Late-night comedy shows each have their own shticks, making it nearly impossible to effectively dismantle a presidential election without one. Here, The Ringer gives kudos to Samantha Bee and John Oliver for finding a way to face the election head-on with impactful segments.

In short, it seems that the shtick of making goofy news one-liners in exchange for some laughs has been exploited by the election (looking at you, network TV). This obviously doesn’t mean that such a template will disappear after November 8 (or 28, depending on your level of spray tan). Rather, it shows that our culture has been longing for pointed commentary.

FiveThirtyEight: How Evan McMullin Could Win Utah And The Presidency

Selected by Joe Lazauskas, editor-in-chief

This one is for all the Veep lovers out there. Basically, what happened this past season on the show could play out in real life. All in all, I wouldn’t be surprised if the plot of HBO shows secretly dictates what happens in real life. After all, I am such a Samantha.

The New Yorker: Twitter Has Never Been Stronger—Or Weaker

Selected by Dillon Baker, associate editor

Given Twitter’s cultural relevance, you would probably think that Twitter has never been more beloved by investors. Donald Trump practically built his political career on the platform. Celebrities use it to feud, apologize, and often respond directly to fans and haters. If news is breaking, it’s where you go. You can even watch football on Twitter now.

Yet Wall Street remains unimpressed. Revenue has grown steadily, but not explosively like on Facebook. The user base is stagnant. And the company seems slow to innovate and often stumbles solving basic issues.

In this piece, James Surowiecki suggests that Twitter perhaps went public too early—that the exponential growth asked by Wall Street may have been detrimental to the company’s long-term prospects. It’s unfortunate, because if Twitter is sold and becomes a shell of its former self, we’ll be losing a cultural cornerstone of the digital age.

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