Storytelling Through Curation
Millions of people use Flipboard daily to discover and share stories. I was initially hired to bolster the company’s technology news coverage as part of its editorial team — our objective: To curate content that informs and inspires.
Technology news is one of the most closely followed topics on Flipboard. Every day, I monitored hundreds of sources to identify what was happening in the tech industry, selecting articles, photos and videos from high-quality publishers and “flipping” them into Magazines.
In addition, I helped other editors manage the platform’s breaking news push notifications and newsletters. My mandate grew over time to include science, COVID-19, gaming and racial justice coverage, in addition to working on special projects.
My role also involved frequent contact with publishers, helping promote their articles on Flipboard and finding ways to better optimize usage of the platform. I skillfully built relationships with NBC News, ABC News, Axios, The Atlantic, MIT Technology Review, TechCrunch, The Verge, Vox Media, G/O Media, BuzzFeed News, National Geographic, Bloomberg News, Cheddar, CNET, and many other notable outlets.
I successfully grew an existing @tech account that was followed by 30,000-plus followers and a smattering of broad Magazines — “Follow the Money” (funding), “Breakthroughs,” “Longreads,” “Reviews,” “Opinions” and “Tech Podcasts” — to a powerhouse account with more than 90,000 followers and an extended portfolio of coverage, including:
- Tentpole events including CES, MWC Barcelona, IFA, Microsoft Build, WWDC, Google I/O and Amazon Re:Invent
- How Russia’s war with Ukraine impacts tech
- Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter
- The fraud trial of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes
- The Creator Economy
- Congressional efforts to regulate the tech industry
- Antitrust issues faced by Meta and Google
- Silicon Valley’s battle with diversity and inclusion
- Efforts to unionize tech workers
- Thematic Magazines exploring Web3, NFTs, the metaverse, cybersecurity, fintech, Section 230, quantum computing, 5G and more
To drive app usage and traffic to important editorially-chosen stories, I produced (composed and scheduled) push notifications that were delivered to more than 1 million Flipboard users who expressed an interest in “technology” news. These alerts received an average 1-2% open rate.
Complementing all of this, I authored Flipboard’s “Tech Briefing” newsletter which was delivered every weekday. Each issue contained the morning’s top tech stories chosen by editors, a section with a reader’s feed personalized for them, a section providing deeper dives around the industry’s big news, and a dynamic module displaying funding stories, reviews, long-form articles, etc. This email was one of Flipboard’s top-performing newsletters, with an average CTR of about 1-3% and an estimated open rate between 30-50%.
Portfolio Expansion: #Science, Climate Change and COVID-19
In 2019, I expanded my portfolio with the launch of Flipboard’s science vertical (@science). This editorial profile covered developments in space (including commercial travel by SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic), psychology, physics, electric vehicles, archeology, paleontology, medical innovations, and biology.
Recognizing the importance of climate change, this account became Flipboard’s hub for curating around this global emergency. Several Magazines were created to provide detailed reporting on areas including environmental justice, the growing pollution problem, and steps people can take to help protect the planet. Under my watch, @science featured collections about COP26, COP27 and President Biden’s climate legislation.
A supporting “Climate Briefing” newsletter was launched under my watch in 2020. Read by more than 550,000 subscribers, it provided editorially-curated climate news every Tuesday.
To coincide with Earth Month 2022, I produced “The Reality of Climate Change,” a “Truth Seekers” project for Flipboard in which climate experts were asked to curate articles around specific themes. Read more about this project here.
The science account gained nearly 40,000 followers.
In 2022, I championed the creation of Flipboard’s “Science Briefing” newsletter which was delivered every Friday and featured select articles across several field-specific themes. More than 260,000 people signed up to receive this email.
With the global pandemic in 2020, I launched Flipboard’s COVID-19 coverage. At the center was a Magazine that featured the latest and most important news about the coronavirus. Upon my departure, it had been viewed by more than 1.4 million people.
A “COVID-19 hub” was established to provide readers with additional content to help navigate around this virus, featuring articles about family issues, the impact on businesses, how to take care of yourself, and helpful explainers.
Flipboard introduced Storyboards in 2020. These unique packages of curated content contain a finite number of items — typically between five to 10 items. I worked alongside the product and engineering teams to develop these collections, building out dozens of Storyboards and providing feedback to the team, all leading up to the official launch.
I helped onboard media publishers, assisted in crafting ideas, troubleshoot problems and boosted their Storyboard visibility within Flipboard. Additionally, I led multiple training sessions with NBC News, CBS News, Fox News, ABC News, The Atlantic, Axios, CNET, Vox Media, National Geographic, Bloomberg News and others to teach best practices.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I created daily Storyboards to provide updates to readers with 323 created to date. Similarly, nearly 300 science-related ones and more than 900 tech ones were produced.
In 2019, Flipboard partnered with media outlet Digital Trends to produce “Tech Briefs.” The goal of each episode was to catch listeners up with the top technology news made each week. The show initially began as a video series, but eventually started syndicated on Spotify, Apple, Google and on major podcast platforms.
More than 50 episodes were aired, with the highlight of being at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, where I and my co-host Greg Nibler broadcast multiple live shows from the conference.