Part of our company mission is to help people work smarter—and that doesn’t stop with our products. We believe we can all benefit from sharing the collective wisdom of our community. So, from time to time, we dig into the inner-workings of our customers and share what we’ve learned with you. We hope these stories provide some insights and/or inspiration that you can take back to your own work. Drop us a line and let us know what you think!
When you think of how the Onion works, you might think of their legendarily tough editorial meetings: writers reading out lists of potential headlines, hoping to get a laugh (or at least a chuckle) of approval from the other very funny people sitting around the table. You might think of ClickHole, which parodies clickbait culture under its motto that “all content deserves to go viral.”
You probably don’t think about the nuts-and-bolts of how the Onion produces such a high volume of hilarious content every single day—but the truth is that’s just as impressive.
The Onion was born in Madison, Wisconsin as a weekly print paper and quickly acquired a reputation for their satirical take on the news. They started publishing their articles online earlier than most publications—in the spring of 1996—to stem the flow of “bootleg” versions being disseminated without proper attribution.
Today, the Onion is fully online, with five properties (the Onion, the A.V. Club, ClickHole, Onion Labs, and Onion Studios) and partnerships with film companies like Lionsgate.
We knew that bringing the Onion into the 21st century had to mean bringing their workflow along too—they’re a Harvest customer, after all—so to get the full scoop, we reached out to Rick Livingston, director of post-production at the Onion.