For those who crave a way to share their passion for social change, Eli Pariser and Upworthy are common names. Eli established Upworthy with Chris Hughes of Facebook and Peter Koechly of The Onion with the goal to make important content as viral as Charlie biting your finger.
And it’s worked. Upworthy is the fastest growing media site of all time, bringing the “awesome”, the “meaningful” and the “visual” all together.
Upworthy isn’t Eli’s first venture though. Eli is a true veteran of the Web. He formerly directed the liberal grassroots organization, MoveOn, working as a catalyst for citizen-driven change. Under his stewardship, MoveOn grew 10 times larger and collected more then $120 million in small donations. Eli realized the power of organizing individuals to take small actions for change, tripling the organization’s member base and creating a political shift in the 2006 elections.
“We really need the Internet to be that thing that we all dreamed of it being. We need it to connect us all together. We need it to introduce us to new ideas and new people and different perspectives. And it’s not going to do that if it leaves us all isolated in a Web of one.”
In 2011, after noticing that social media and search engines were eliminating some friends’ posts from his feed and only showing him search results tailored to his tastes, he sounded the alarm on the increasingly narrow lens that social media algorithms and search networks are creating in the name of ‘personalization’ in The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You. His TED talk on the topic has been seen more than 2.5 million times.
Shortly thereafter, he co-founded the company that encompasses both – using his community–organizing expertise to help combat the narrow lens of social media and search algorithms. Upworthy curates meaningful content on social, economic and societal issues that is then massively shared by the site’s community. Upworthy.com routinely breaks its own traffic records, seeing more than 46 million page views in October 2013, and garnering more views than the New York Times, FOX News or BleacherReport.
Join us to hear what he has to say grassroots organization, his experience growing organizations, and the future of Upworthy. Grab your pass now here.