Today, we present to you Chris Miles, PolicyMic editor and SEO extraordinaire. As part of our editors' blog, we'll be introducing each one of our awesome editors so you can get to know better the people behind the stories. Feel free to ask him more questions in the comments below!
Jake Horowitz (JH): What's in your daily news diet? Walk us inside the mind of an SEO god: What sites, blogs, or newspapers do you get inspiration from?
SEO is kind of a game. You can’t just look at Google News and assume that every story on their front page is a story we need to write. Instead, those stories are stories you should have written yesterday. SEO, then, is staying one step ahead of the game. The best way to do this, of course is to constantly follow all the top news outlets — New York Times, the Associated Press, CNN — and watch for breaking news. Then there are the “news radars” ... the sites that start to show what’s hot before it becomes hot. These sites are Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.
Social media is the way to go when seeing what people want to read tomorrow … people post breaking news and hot stories to FB all the time, and if enough of your friends are talking about that subject on their newsfeeds, there's a good chance that whatever they are talking about is the news of the day.
Lemme listify it … this is what you should approach every morning when consuming news, in order of importance:
a) Google News
e) Yahoo News (they’re like a toned down Reddit)
f) New York Times
JH: Everyone has guilty pleasures. Give us three sites which you hate to admit you're addicted to.
JH: If you could have the job of one journalist, writer, or content creator, who would it be and why? Do you think that person would want to trade places with you for a day?
Trick question, I already have my dream job.
JH: You've talked a lot about changing the course of journalism in the new media age. What role do you see PolicyMic playing in reshaping the traditional journalism landscape?
When I was a newspaper journalist (oh so long-ago in 2009, when newspapers were a thing), the big question was: How do we get young people to read more of our stuff?
PolicyMic was the simple answer to this question — it’s an open palette, in need of paint brush.
The thing newspapers never figured out was that young people did enjoy reading their stuff … they just weren’t addicted to reading their stuff. Young people want to digest news that is both simple and intelligent. They want it to be witty. They want it to be easy to consume. They don’t want to read a dissertation, but they also want to learn something to say to their friends over a beer later that night in order to sound smart. And if they’re not meeting their friends for a beer later that night, they want to be able to share what they learned with their friends anyways, likely via Facebook. This is why sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy are so popular. This is why people love memes. This is why somebody invented the Facebook share button.
PolicyMic, I think, ties all of those things together. We keep things simple … under 1,000 words. But we also have unique perspectives — people who work in government, or finished their master’s degree in X subject, or who have watched every Batman movie and read every Batman comic and can drop some serious knowledge on the Dark Knight Rises.
We like memes, gifs, and videos. We love live blogs. We like op-eds. We like opinions. We like sharing opinions. We like debating opinions.
JH: You're an AP style guru. What's the number one typo which you wish every PolicyMic writer would avoid from here on out?
If a title stands alone, it’s not capitalized. If the title comes before a name, it is capitalized. Ex. “The president said we’ll attack Iran” vs “President Obama said we’ll attack Iran.”
Every day. Every day I see that one. Then this happens:
JH: What’s something that’s surprised you most since you began working at PolicyMic?
Ron Paul is actually a thing … and probably will be for some time ... for some reason.
JH: What three tunes are bumping on your iPod while editing a Mark Kogan masterpiece?
JH: When you're not PolicyMic'ing, where can people find you?
I have a vibrant social life.
I can be found doing this:
... and this:
... and watching this:
... But really, that's another trick question, because the news never sleeps. I'm always PolicyMic'ing.