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Marketplace’s most viral stories of 2013

Raghu Manavalan Dec 30, 2013

Thoughts, disclaimers, bad jokes, etc.: This is our look back at Marketplace’s top stories on Marketplace.org, Facebook, Twitter, reddit and Stitcher in 2013. Like Katherine Goldstein at Slate pointed out in her article on Slate’s most viral stories, one of the most interesting takeaways was the lack of overlapping stories between platforms. The only stories to appear on different lists were Income Upshot and a story on curing alcoholism in Russia.

Most viewed on Marketplace.org: These were our most visited stories in 2013, even if the article was posted before this year. A years-old story on alcoholism in Russia made our most-viewed list in 2013, probably due to hitting the front page of reddit (you can see the rest of our top reddit stories below). Timothy Geithner’s signature is still ridiculous looking, even though that story came out in 2012.

  1. Income Upshot: Your income ranked nationally
  2. No more working at home for Hewlett-Packard employees?
  3. Timothy Geithner’s signature not fit for print
  4. The killer cure for alcoholism in Russia
  5. What do employers really want from college grads? 

APM Marketplace on Facebook: Facebook posts are sorted by “biggest reach,” basically the total number of people who saw that post, whether because they like Marketplace on Facebook or saw the post through their friends. This list includes Facebook posts from 2013. Every top Facebook story included questions to spur discussion from our audience. None of these five stories were top stories on other platforms. Our Facebook post on unemployed millennials was Marketplace’s best Facebook story this year by far — which isn’t surprising because if you’re an unemployed millennial, you may be spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook.

  1. Economically frustrated Millennials have a new meme for out-of-touch Baby Boomers. Whose side are you on — and why?
  2. Do you agree with the TV show chosen to represent your state in this map?
  3. Are you ready to retire? Be sure your retirement is on track, no matter what your age.
  4. McDonald’s offers employees sample budget that doesn’t list ‘food’ or ‘heat’ as monthly budget items, and assumes workers have two jobs to make yearly income. Do you think the budget is realistic? Does it line up with your expenses?
  5. Michael Pollan says “We don’t value cooking… We’ve fallen into this mode where we let the corporations do the cooking for us. The problem is, they don’t do it very well.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

@MarketplaceAPM on Twitter: Twitter stories are ranked by most clicks of links in tweets to read the article, and only include stories from 2013. These titles are the headline of the story, not the actual tweets themselves. Take homes? Twitter loves Rob Delaney, everyone loves Sriracha, and “1234” is a mediocre PIN choice.

  1. Exclusive: Sriracha founder reveals the ‘secret’ wholesale price of his sauce
  2. The funniest man on Twitter
  3. Income Upshot: What does your income say about you?
  4. Is your PIN code one of the easiest to figure out?
  5. How one family went bankrupt spending $100,000 on Beanie Babies

Marketplace on Stitcher: Stitcher is one of our most popular audio platforms to share individual audio segments. A lot of Stitcher’s traffic comes from the Bay Area, which may explain the focus on tech, banking, and yoga pants.

  1. Ukraine decides between east and west
  2. Facebook warns some users to change their passwords after hack
  3. Google TV gadget costs $35. Game changer?
  4. Lululemon tries to get past transparent pants-gate
  5. Inside the world of China’s “shadow banks”

reddit: Articles on reddit are sorted by which stories received the most upvotes (basically reddit’s equivalent to Facebook’s likes). TIL stands for ‘Today I Learned,” reddit’s sub-section on interesting facts from the past. Three of the five reddit stories focus on tech in some way, which makes sense given reddit’s stereotype of tech-savvy millennials.

  1. TIL in Russia many doctors “treat” alcoholism by surgically implanting a small capsule into their patients. The capsules react so severely with alcohol that once the patient touches a single drop, they instantly acquire an excruciating illness of similar intensity to acute heroin withdrawal
  2. TIL that ‘casual friday’ is the product of a guerrilla marketing campaign by Levis’ new khakis brand, Dockers during the early 90s recession.
  3. Beijing provides a $19,000 USD subsidy to buy an electric car
  4. ‘Creator of the Internet’ Tim Berners-Lee says the Copyright Alert System is bad for democracy.
  5. Listen to a Verizon spokeswoman explain the reason behind Verizon’s data plan changes. Around the 1:15 mark.

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