In July 2022, a TikToker gained virality for posting a TikTok about quiet quitting – a term he had just learned, referring to putting less effort into a job without quitting it. The concept, one that many TikTok users resonated with, quickly became viral. Shortly following that video, the Daily Dot reported on the phenomenon, becoming the first news outlet to do so. Soon after, quiet quitting became a widely covered concept.
“We were the first publisher to cover quiet quitting,” said the Daily Dot’s Managing Editor Ramon Ramirez. “We gave quiet quitting a platform and a month later it’s on The Today Show.”
Ramirez said that the Daily Dot’s quick reporting on that phenomenon is just one example of the outlet’s consistent tendency to break stories before anyone else – he explained that this is also integral to the publication’s recent success. “For us, it’s about understanding how content thrives in the wild,” he said. “We are the first to find the stories and we report them.”
Ramirez’s sentiments are reflected across data documenting the Daily Dot’s growth. According to a report from PressGazette, the Daily Dot was the fastest-growing news site in July of 2022. The publication saw a reported 20.2 million visits in July, according to SimilarWeb, marking a 178% increase. The second fastest-growing news site was the UK tabloid The Sun, with an increase of 78%.
In addition to this report, internal numbers show that the Daily Dot has been continually growing for the past two years. August 2022 marked a new record for the Daily Dot with over 38 million unique visitors.
Since 2011, the Daily Dot has prided itself on providing the deepest coverage of internet culture available. Over the last three years, the rise of TikTok has fueled even greater interest in internet culture and brought home how it impacts people on an everyday scale. Ramirez explains that these aren’t just stories about TikTok, they are stories about real events that are documented on the popular app.
“Every TikTok story we cover has a window into a broader problem. A story about a $15 Raising Cane’s order is also a story about the supply chain, inflation, food desserts, and a reliance on fast food.”
He also explained that the Daily Dot has grown to be so adept at breaking stories that are representative of everyday people’s experiences because we have built a newsroom of people who understand these experiences. Ramirez mentioned that the Daily Dot intends to develop a group of reporters who are most equipped to tell these stories authentically and ethically.
One method employed to intentionally work towards these goals is prioritizing the hiring of interns from public universities. “It’s important to us that we provide opportunities to students from Public Universities and ensure they receive the resources and become properly prepared to report on these issues,” Ramirez explained.
Beyond the efforts made that have led to the production of these viral stories, Ramirez also attributed the website’s growth to proactive efforts to build and grow diverse audiences on a wide array of platforms – including ones normally overlooked by larger publications.
“We need to be proud of where our audience comes from,” Ramirez said. “Google Discover is predominantly an android audience. The reason people don’t know about Discover is that every journalist has an iPhone. It’s within those efforts to build and retain audiences that we have a diverse audience. Our advertising methods, for example, show that our Black audience is between 20-29%, which is significantly above average.”
Ramirez says he’s proud of the steps the Daily Dot has taken to be a platform that audiences can trust. He explains that all of these efforts come from a desire to represent a large audience of everyday Americans – as a result, notable growth in the Daily Dot’s audience has followed.
“We try to be a publisher for real America, not just media executives in Brooklyn.”