What To Do When You’re In A Rush…

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The Skimm Logo. Photo credit: theskimm.com

Reading The Skimm is the smart way to not only utilize your morning time wisely, but also serves as a worthy excuse for staying in bed a few minutes longer. For those with busy schedules, a quick early morning update is a great way to begin the day. When there is not enough time to read the latest news, the Skimm’s employees are there to summarize current events for you. They do the reading; subscribers do the skimming. This contemporary idea has had ample publicity simply because it is something no one thought of until now. Featured in public settings such as CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes, Glamour and InStyle magazines, the Skimm has created a highly reputable name for itself within the last three years. “It’s a five-minute femme-focused read that digests the day’s top stories into snarky, conversational topics. The news is broken down into sections like, ‘What to say at a family dinner’ and ‘What to say after taking a three-day weekend.’” CNN reports.

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Skimmers, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. Photo credit: thelala.com

Founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg rekindled their friendship from a college study abroad program when they met again while both working for NBC. Zakin, a University of Pennsylvania graduate, and Weisberg, a Tufts graduate, were both known for their interests in current events. The two friends decided to quit their jobs at NBC and start something a little different. The entire idea was established in their New York City apartment. The published results from these two females in their twenties reflect a different perspective and twist on daily media and events. Their idea is now a trendy company on the rise and has expanded to fifteen employees in the last three years. In a Huffington Post profile, the two state what it is like to be female CEOs of one of the fastest growing online newsletters. “When we get to talk about what we’ve built… we created something that means something to [people] and is a part of their day and is making their day better. Seeing those reactions is just such a boost. It’s such an energizer and it’s momentum for us to become better CEOs and to take the company to the next level. Our metric for success for this year is user growth. That’s all we care about.” According to Weisberg, their target audience includes big city, intelligent women ages 22 to 34 who have money to spend.

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A Collegiate senior reads the Skimm before her first period class. Photo credit: Alex Ferrell (16′)

The Skimm covers serious topics, such as the recent updates on gay rights and the presidential debates, in addition to reports on celebrities such as the Kardashians. All discussed topics are specifically summarized for subscribers who fit their demographic. “Our advantage is that we know our demo because we are our demo. This helps us report on mostly hard news in a way that is fun, informative, engaging, and actually entertaining” a Skimm employee explains in Forbes about the online newsletter. In addition to the centralized email topics, each newsletter begins with a different “quote of the day.” Each quote represents a small portion of a media story; for example, Kylie Jenner’s personal selfie techniques. When signing up for the Skimm, you are asked to enter your birthday simply for mentioning purposes. The bottom of every newsletter includes all subscribers’ names and their home city that have a birthday that day. Some Skimm emails also include a “Things To Know” fun fact, such as random terminology for wearing oversized t-shirts that cover Nike shorts (this is called “Lampshading”). Other Skimm newsletters feature “Skimm Gifts,” where subscribers can enter to win luxurious vacations along with prize packages.

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Tweet by Oprah Winfrey. Photo credit: theodysseyonline.com

Not only did Oprah give the Skimm a twitter shout-out, but the company also currently has around one million active readers daily, including Reese Witherspoon, Emma Roberts, and Sarah Jessica Parker. The Skimm proves to be popular here in Richmond as well. Looking at poll results from Collegiate Upper School, it appears the Skimm is the most popular media source for students and faculty. A combination 147 students and faculty members were given the following options and were told to select all that apply to their daily lives: Twitter, Buzzfeed, Facebook articles, Snapchat, and the Skimm. Given the results, 52.1% of voters chose the Skimm. “The Skimm makes it easier for me to understand complicated issues, and I love how they add in current social trends and humor with each topic. I love that I can start each day more connected to world events by just reading their quick emails during breakfast” Virginia Harris (16’) comments. You can subscribe to the Skimm by simply entering your email address at http://www.theskimm.com/.

About the author

Class of 2016