Mic.com takes a progressive approach towards branded content, betting that readers are more likely to pay attention to original reporting and lively writing than to trashy, poorly-conceived clickbait. This kind of work is better for readers, better for the client, and (most importantly), better for me.
Some of my favorite pieces I've done for them:
Two years ago, a Minneapolis social worker named Gwendolene decided that her daughter would not be able to fulfill her dream of going to college until they had a computer for her to use at home. Gwendolene, a single mother, spent her days helping local residents with housing, finances and access to technology, but when she went home at night, she felt the strain of making ends meet for herself and her daughter, Tequila. PCs for People understood how she felt.
"Computers have become an extremely integral part of our everyday life," Madeline Tate, office manager for PCs for People, told Mic. "Attempting to apply for a job or complete schoolwork without access to a computer is pretty near impossible."
When the whistle blew after two quarters at Super Bowl XLIX, the producers of Katy Perry's halftime show had less than 10 minutes to set up. More than 600 dancers rushed the field, in an arrangement they had practiced twice a day for two weeks, and held glowing beach balls above their heads. When the commercial break ended, the beach balls appeared on screen, forming the final shape. A ripple of color went through the orbs, the crowd of dancers parted and Perry made her entrance into a sea of cascading light.
"It was one of the coolest things we've ever done," Justin Roddick, CEO of Glow Motion Technologies, told Mic. Roddick's company created the beach balls that made Perry's entrance so spectacular using a technology that was designed on PCs to bring light to live events in new ways.
Although the Super Bowl halftime show was Glow Motion's highest-profile exhibition, the Nashville-based company has made its mark around the country, from arena concerts to sporting events to corporate conventions. Their unique lighting technology, powered by LEDs, is bringing the concerts to a new level
It doesn't look like anything at first. But as the arm of the printer slides back and forth, a violin slowly takes shape. It has all the elegance of that delicate instrument but has a thoroughly modern look. The violin is electric. It is perfectly clear. And its body was created entirely inside of a 3-D printer.
"At the beginning, it was just a personal challenge," Laurent Bernadac, French-based creator of the 3Dvarius, told Mic.
Bernadac and describes the 3Dvarius as the world's first fully playable 3-D printed violin. He's been playing the violin since he was 5 years old but his professional background is in engineering.
It's no surprise designers with a background in the sciences are gravitating toward this new technology. The field is highly sophisticated and accessible enough that anyone with a PC and a desktop 3-D printer can begin printing their own musical instruments at home.