Spotlight: Engadget Head of Social Media Mallory Johns

Shona Sanzgiri / August 3, 2016

My name is Mallory Johns, and I’m the Head of Social Media for Engadget— the definitive guide to this connected life.

Engadget’s Daily Seven

Engadget Goes Deep: Features and Longforms

My work specializes in social media, journalism and content production.

I have two passions in life: music and social media. I’ve been playing the piano since I was 10 and I moved to New York City to pursue a degree in audio engineering. And about 6 years ago, I turned my passion for Twitter into a social media career.

I use Flipboard both personally and professionally. Personally, I’ve used Flipboard like a bookmarklet to build a collection of stories I see across Twitter throughout the day that I’d like to read at a later date.

Professionally, I handle all efforts around distributing Engadget’s content across 15 magazines, spanning everything from Apple and video games to the latest gadgets you should know about.

The first few sites I read in the morning are, naturally, Facebook and Twitter. I spend my morning scrolling through both to see which stories Engadget’s overnight team published that my team might want to re-circulate, and to stay informed on the latest trending stories.

After scrolling through Twitter, I dive into my email newsletters. I read three newsletters religiously every day: TheSkimm, New York Today (from The New York Times) and SM Current (from

And finally, I glance at my neighborhood blogs (courtesy of DNAInfo NY and Ditmas Park Corner) to find out what’s happening on a more local level—a habit I’ve kept up since moving to Brooklyn a few years ago.

As one of the biggest evangelists of Engadget, the purpose of my work is to turn the amazing stories written by our talented staff into engaging content that can live across social, Flipboard, our newsletters and beyond.

What makes my work different is that no two days are the same. One day I could be working with an editor to figure out the best way to translate their feature into a Snapchat story or Instagram post, and the next I could be flying across the country to cover a tech conference like CES or E3.

The best article I read all week is a tough one, because I consume so much content on a daily basis, but this is the most chilling article I’ve read this week, and it envisions an end-of-days scenario for New York City.

And in terms of sheer zaniness, this is up there as one of the craziest gadgets we’ve ever reviewed, because it proves that everything we’ve seen in Wall-E is coming true.

My favorite topics on Flipboard are not topics per se, but I’m a big fan of The Daily Edition and Flipboard Picks, because I love seeing what other publishers are sharing on Flipboard.

Someone I admire from a different discipline is my dad. As a first generation American (with immigrant parents from Jamaica), my dad really instilled in me the virtues of hard work, due diligence and professionalism in everything you do.

And I’ve admired his work (and passion for being) a Marketing Officer for the semiconductor industry since childhood. One thing he has always told me, that I hark back to even now is this: “Reach for the moon, because if you fall short, you’ll land among the stars, and who wouldn’t want to be a star?”

My “media diet” includes anything and everything, really, because I hate being out of the loop. I’m literally the living representation of FOMO at this point.

That said, I (of course) read everything published on Engadget and our sister site TechCrunch. In addition, I love keeping up on everything NYC, so I read Gothamist, Timeout NY and NY Mag.

For politics and breaking news, I follow The NYTimes, Reuters and I actually watch CNN on TV (I’m a cord-cutter, who only recently plugged the cord back in).

In terms of more lifestyle coverage, I get a lot of my news scrolling through Snapchat and Snapchat Discover—so I’m reading Refinery29, Cosmopolitan and Vice exclusively on Snapchat Discover—and I cure my wanderlust by watching videos from Conde Nast Traveler’s Snapchat stories.

And finally, in my free time, I blog for A Song A Day and Songs To Dance To, so I do listen to a ton of music and I follow up on music news from Pitchfork, Thump, Noisey and HypeM.

A unique productivity tip of mine is Google Keep! It’s not super unique, but I would lost without it. I use the mobile and desktop apps daily, and whenever I have an idea, I jot it down into the app.

I’ve built a master To-Do list that changes everyday (to keep me on task), and I have lists for ideas and goals that I reference each week to keep myself on track both personally and professionally.

One issue that needs more attention is aesthetics. I’m a stickler for quality assurance, and in this era of social-digital-mobile first, it’s important to make sure that aesthetically every piece of content looks pleasing and is optimized for any and all environments.

If I could offer one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be “it will get better.” It sounds cliché, but when I was younger, I had such a hard time looking ahead and seeing the bigger picture. And to me, the most important thing you can do for yourself in any discipline is to think about the ripple effect.

~ShonaS is curating Media Message