How Facebook algorithms and a stupid post about cranky wine relate to the election

Around 9am last Thursday, Megan regrammed a silly Instagram picture of these bottles of amusingly-named wine. This set off an insane chain of events that resulted in, five days later, 13 million people seeing this piece of content.

Put another way, the weekend before one of the most divisive presidential elections in US history, the robots that serve America our information decided that what 13 million of us really needed to see was a throw-away post about wine labels that said "FUCK" on them.

For me as a publisher, this was an insane content marketing story to watch unfold. Come with me on this journey as I unpack what it says about the media, the work of my editors, my company, and even the American election.

1.7k

Taint week 2014: The power of the taint is strong

I've written many times over the years about how I make the most of "Taint Week," the editorial dead zone between Christmas and New Years. Since it's one of the slowest news weeks of the entire year, I noticed back in 2012 that we seemed to have our stories picked up more frequently by the mainstream media when there's nothing else going on.

"Hmm," I thought to myself.