As a newcomer to the Raidious team, I’ve more or less been thrown into the company’s culture with the hopes of figuring it out as I go. Much to my surprise, all of those current events classes and quizzes I was forced to take throughout high school and college hold up here. While there aren’t actually quizzes, I realized the importance immediately.
When Sunday rolled around and I knew the Monday morning Trending Topics Meeting was coming up, I knew I had to get my act together and scour the Internet. Being the Twitter addict that I am, I immediately let my newsfeed do the work.
Much to my interest (and possibly my former professors’ horror), I found myself ignoring reputable news sources like CNN and AP. Instead, my gut told me to search msnNOW (my personal favorite), Gawker and even HuffPost Weird News. Why? They’re funny. That’s right: I based work decisions on funny. And it works. Here’s why.
The more outlandish the title, the more eye-catching
When you’re looking at a very monotonous list of titles on a news page or on your Twitter feed, it’s easy to skim over some good stuff. The ridiculous stuff, then, is more likely to make you stop. For example, I didn’t stop for “FDA approves next-generation, bug-based flu vaccine” on MSNBC.com but was all over msnNOW’s “Don’t freak out, but your flu shot might be made of bugs.” Why? Because it felt like it was written for a person with a sense of humor, by a person with a sense of humor.
Unexpected connections are made
Around the time of the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend fiasco, AP posted a story about a Brazilian website that will create for anyone a fake girlfriend, complete with a Facebook profile. Who cares? I never would have stopped to put it all together, and I certainly never would have read the article based on the title, “BRAZILIAN WEBSITE CREATES FAKE GIRLFRIENDS.” But if you do what msnNOW did and put it all together with a joke headline? SOLD. I will absolutely read the story titled, “Manti Te’o did not start this site that creates fake girlfriends,” and I will absolutely laugh. These sources do the extra legwork for us because in an effort to be funny, they often have to dig a little deeper to make connections for us.
Pointless stories find a purpose
In my attempt to find news stories for the meeting, I eventually ventured to Huffington Post, The Land of the Most Random News. One of the stories that interested me the most wasn’t even really news. It was very short piece asking if people could have passed 8th grade 100 years ago. Newsworthy? Probably not. But it related closely enough to clients we work with that it caught my attention. The more I looked, the more I realized that even some of the most random stories could be useful.
Fortunately, these stories almost always link back to the serious news reports from which they came. So have no fear: The stories are real, and they’re funny. Your work day just got that much better.
Even still, if off-the-wall news sources aren’t enough to give you the motivation or inspiration you need, maybe you should just go off the grid.