Now Reading: El Chapo, TV writing, Mad Men’s Pete Campbell, pageviews, David Cohen, whiskey tip

Clearing out some open tabs on my MacBook Pro …

The hunt for the world’s most notorious drug lord

This piece from Patrick Radden Keefe in The New Yorker is incredible. “The hunt for El Chapo” is the story of the Mexican government’s pursuit of Joaquin Guzman Loera, perhaps the world’s most sought-after fugitive after the United States took out Osama Bin Laden.

El Chapo has made hundreds of millions of dollars in the Mexican drug trade and has run an organization responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. Through deep cultivation of sources in both the Mexican and U.S. defense agencies, Patrick pieced together a detailed account of the chase and capturing of El Chapo. Because the U.S. doesn’t have authority to make arrests outside its borders, the best it could do to assist Mexico’s government was hand over leads and hope its militia could finish the job.

Of course, oftentimes it was difficult to determine how many insiders El Chapo had in the Mexican military feeding him intel to fuel his continuous escapes (it never seemed like a question of if El Chapo had insiders in the government, just the total number). I’d love to hear Patrick on a podcast or in a Q&A explain his reporting process for this piece and all the hoops he had to jump through and how long it took him to do that. It’s a remarkable reporting job – The New Yorker at its absolute best.

How an IT guy tweeted his way into a TV writing job

Loved this piece from Vulture’s Jennifer Rogers and Callie Wright on a middle-aged guy from Illinois whose witty Twitter account earned him an opportunity to leave his IT job and move to New York to write jokes for the show Late Night With Seth Meyers.

While it’s true that there’s more competition than ever in the writing/creative business and it sometimes can be extremely difficult to find work, this is another example of a way in which modern technology has lowered some barriers of entry into the business. There are forums now where raw talent can become exposed, and some are becoming more willingly to take chances on raw talent than trace the rungs of an industry ladder that you once had no choice but to climb if you wanted to rise.

This is the other side of “it’s hard to find opportunity” argument. Yes, it can be. But there are also doors that previously ceased to exist.

Matthew Weiner on Vincent Kartheiser (aka Mad Men’s Pete Campbell)

If you like the show Mad Men, you’ll love this interview Jada Yuan did with show creator Matthew Weiner about Vincent Kartheiser, the man who plays the character Peter Campbell.

I had a much deeper respect for Kartheiser’s talent after reading Weiner describe how he so effortlessly humanizes Campbell. He has a gift for conveying emotion that Weiner can’t script. It’s an enlightening look into what makes great acting talent.

Jada also wrote a profile of Kartheiser that’s worth reading.

Why editorial staffs should look at more than just pageviews

Insightful and important read from Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile on why editorial operations should give journalists the right metrics to made educated content decisions and not solely rely on pageviews.

It’s a difficult proposition, balancing the daily hunger for clicks against selling out for them, and there are tangible long-term ramifications of being entirely pageview driven. Sometimes I wonder if we (“we” being the general content creation engine) give enough thought to what we’re consistently providing users and if we’re sacrificing loyalty for instant pageview validation.

I don’t have an answer for this – maybe there isn’t a great one. Businesses do run on bottom lines, to some degree, and those need to be met. I just think there’s an important question to continually ponder: If I’m the reader, what kind of value am I getting from this site/publication and what reason do I have for coming back?

Comcast’s real repairman

I enjoyed this Michael Sokolove profile in The New York Times of Comcast EVP David Cohen and his influence in the media world. Take from it what you want. His obsessive nature of preparation stuck out to me.

New to whiskey? Here’s a tip

Attention drinkers who put Coke in your whiskey: stop.

Whiskey is a brilliant and marvelous liquid that should be treated with more respect than that. If you’re just trying it out, take this tip from Rachel Tepper and adjust until it fits your taste.

Twitter: @TMitrosilis Email: tmitrosilis@gmail.com

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