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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzfeed’

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

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#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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BuzzFeed Shows AP Stylebook Isn’t Exhaustive, Especially for Digital Age

keep-calm-and-follow-buzzguide-1No one can argue this — the Internet has changed everything when it comes to journalism, and while the AP Stylebook will continue to be considered “ol’ faithful” in our industry on most issues of journalistic style, there must be a benchmark for the Web-speak so prevalent in social and digital media today.

That is why BuzzFeed, generator of hilarious lists and investigative stories alike, has made public its newsroom style guide.

While BuzzFeed said its style manual isn’t meant to cover all elements of grammar and journalistic style (they rely mostly on the AP Stylebook, except for their own overrides on words they use often on the site — we’ll get to those later), the digital publisher hopes the guide will be a good source for its media peers.

“Our perspective reflects that of the internet at large, which is why we hope other sites and organizations across the web will find these guidelines useful,” wrote BuzzFeed copy team staffers Emmy Favila and Megan Paolone for the official release of the guide last week.

Of note when it comes to words and phrases journalists (specifically those covering technology and media beats) might be prone to using? See after the jump.

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Fewer Cat Memes, More Hard-Hitting Stuff: BuzzFeed Gets Real With Investigative Editor

buzzfeed_lrgOnce again, BuzzFeed is showing us it’s serious about being a respected news organization despite the fluff pieces it’s so infamous for. That’s why the viral/social Web machine announced to the universe Monday that it’s adding a Pulitzer winner to its newsroom as well as an investigative journalism team.

The New York Times’ Leslie Kaufman broke the news that Mark Schoofs, previously of the hard-hitting nonprofit journalism venture ProPublica, would be heading up a brand new team of “about a half dozen reporters” for his BuzzFeed beat, which will boast stories alongside titles such as “10 Times Obama Said Signing Up For Obamacare Sucks Today” and “The 17 Worst Things About Being A Girl.”

Schoofs’ hire is one more indication that the organization is aggressively trying to shape its image so that they’re not written off as a source of blather predominantly shared among teens and young adults, and nonsensical lists, at least not entirely (for the record, I enjoy the blather and lists in small doses).

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Why Listicles Are Here to Stay

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Listicles, or articles in list form, have been around for decades. Traditional magazines like Cosmopolitan have had them on their cover for years (aka: “10 Sexiest Things To Do With Your Man Tonight!”)

But the resurgence of the listicle online really found its home on BuzzFeed. The news aggregator and youth-centric site is the most famous example of the listicle done right. Peruse the site and you will find thousands of lists on any subject you can think of. Most are humorous, some are enraging, others, uplifting. Take ”21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity,” an inspiring collection of photographs that has been viewed over 14 million times. They know what they’re doing, and they do it well.  Although BuzzFeed was once known as the silly home of cat memes, it now also focuses on international news and politics. A U.S. Senator recently caused quite a stir by creating his own listicle: ”11 Reasons Why Congress Needs to Fix Student Loan Rates Now,” mixing D.C. policy decisions with images and GIFs.

BuzzFeed’s editorial director Jack Shepherd recently told 10,000 Words via email about what makes listicles so attractive to his millions of readers. But first, he had a few things to say about the word itself. Read more

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