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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzfeed’

What To Read Today: Interview With Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti

If you only read one thing on the Internet today, this is it. And it will probably be all you have time to read, clocking in at the 91 minute mark according to Medium’s estimation.

(But hey, if your Tweetdeck is down and Feedly’s under attack, you should have more time than usual to lean in to a piece like this. Sorry for the reminder.)

jonahperettiIt’s an eight-part Q&A that reporter Felix Salmon conducted over a few interviews with Jonah Peretti, who helped found two of the most viral, traffic-driving websites on the Internet: Huffington Post, and after leaving HuffPo, Buzzfeed.

If you only read part of it, skip to sections 6, Buzzfeed as Willy Wonka’s Lab, and 7, How to win the Internet. On the whole, it’s a fascinating look into the mind and methods, plus the future and back story, of one of the people who made the Internet and general online mediascape what it is today — for better or worse.

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BuzzFeed Will Focus on Video, Rethink Traffic Partner Program

BuzzFeed_BadgesLast Friday BuzzFeed announced it would wind down its traffic partner network in order to focus more on video.

Reported Quartz’ John McDuling, a note to network participants read:

BuzzFeed has decided to wind down its existing partner network over the coming months. The partner network was an extremely valuable product for us and for partners but its place has changed as the industry has evolved and BuzzFeed has grown into a fully staffed, global news and entertainment organization over the last few years.

BuzzFeed, despite its success, is an anomaly and is still trying to decipher a path to long-term viability. A weird mix of strong investigative reporting and silly lists, its quirk is undeniable, as many of its content partners and readers can probably attest. Still, there’s no way it could be a bad thing to let BuzzFeed refer web traffic to you, no matter what kind of content they’re initially consuming on the viral site.

By hosting links and top headlines from a group of 200 publishers on the BuzzFeed site and a Fre.sh platform, those organizations got the benefit of BuzzFeed traffic and demographics while BuzzFeed received a trove of data about what kinds of other news its readers enjoyed, and how they navigated other pubs’ sites, so they could better plan their own content, McDuling, a corporate reporter, explained.

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Finally, Viral Content That’s Actually Funny: The Onion To Launch ClickHole.com

Watch out Upworthy, BuzzFeed and the other bazillion viral content producers who rely on visitors falling into the rabbit hole of clicking link after viral link on their website. There’s soon to be a new, funnier kid on the block who’s going after your audience by poking fun at you…

(Screen capture from ClickHole.com)

(Screen capture from ClickHole.com)

Parody news site The Onion, which already garners robust traffic by playing off newspaper and TV news story stereotypes, announced this week it will set its sights on stealing some of the click love with a parody site of the viral content farms.

The new site, ClickHole.com, will launch in June. Don’t worry though if you can’t wait that long, there’s already a fun infographicesque tutorial up on the homepage where you can practice your clicking skills. Plus, the name is such a perfect parody of such sites that it’s hard to believe that domain was even available.

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Everything Upworthy Can Teach Journalists

upworthyThis week, New York magazine has a profile of the website we all love to hate: Upworthy.

Upworthy is the bane of many a journalist’s existence. It peddles in clicks, and has people sharing, painlessly and by the millions, pieces of content that concern topics we actually want to report on. A 10-page feature or package with video on the effects of poverty takes months to prepare and weeks to garner attention on Twitter. They find one video on the topic and it has thousands of views. It’s  more BuzzFeed-y than BuzzFeed; they at least have a news team. You should read the whole piece, though, because there are lessons to be gleaned from their success.

1) Ah, the infamous Upworthy style headline. In one part of the feature, they talk about ‘click testing,’ where they run through possible headlines and then see how clickable they are out in the wild. If it’s not clickable, they tweak. Every media outlet can do this, and if you want to garner more traffic, you should. If you feel icky about changing the headline after it’s originally published, just add a note. I see good digital outlets doing this all the time. Slate stories, for example, often have one headline when I see it in the morning and another by the afternoon when I actually get around to reading it. If it requires emails or write offs to tweak a headline or re-run and write a new social media tease to make it more interesting — you’re doing it wrong. Read more

#myinternship: How Can We Make Internship Programs Better?

hamsterThis week, Doree Shafrir over at Buzzfeed wrote about the ‘internship hamster wheel,’ especially pervasive in our industry. She continued the discussion on Twitter under #myinternship, where a lot of current and ex-journo interns shared their woes, their ideas for making existing intern programs better, and rethinking the whole system entirely. In addition to being a fun and easy way to engage with her readers, there were some good anecdotes.

Here are some of the highlights:

 

 

 

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