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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzfeed’

Hilarious “Mayor vs. Bear” Tweets Go Viral

A 250-pound bear climbs a tree in Connecticut, and the local mayor live tweets about it.  It sounds like a pretty standard day on Twitter, but this particular encounter was different.

It went crazy viral.

How does a seemingly ordinary alert from a mayor about a bear incident become the subject of the entire Internet’s curiosity? Well, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton’s Twitter presence explains a lot about his personality. Known for tweeting rap lyrics and maintaining a casually silly presence on the social media site, Boughton is the mayoral version of a lounge lizard compared to other high-profile political social media stars (the heroic Cory Booker, hailing one state over in New Jersey, comes to mind).

Read more

What You Can Learn From Profitable New Media Companies

It ain’t easy being in the media business these days, or so they say.  There are in fact lots of people allegedly, or actually, raking in digital dollars, according to this article from Fortune. They’re all content producers with a journalistic twist. They are all different in their own ways, but you can parse out some ingredients for financial success in the industry. 

Not surprisingly the top, profitable companies are: The Huffington Post, Gawker Media, The Awl, Business Insider, SAY Media, Vox Media, and BuzzFeed. 

So what sets them apart?

 1. Niche, Niche, Niche

Choire Sicha of The Awl says they only want to be read by ‘smart people,’ and as it’s grown, it’s added other niche sites to its cache, like the female focused The Hairpin. Business Insider lives off of business and technology news and gossip, straight from the mouth of editor ‘Wall Street bad boy’ Henry Blodget. Gawker peddles snark, and BuzzFeed caters to culturally in-tune Millenials and their parents. HuffPo is grandfather of all of them — they have the verticals and dedicated, SEO hungry, writing staff for everything. By dabbling in it all, they essentially cater to segmented, yet focused, audiences. All of these organizations are like the good old magazines of the paper days: each site has a distinct look, feel and tone, reminiscent of say, Sassy or even Spin. It’s no wonder that Jane Pratt is part of the profitable crew under SAY Media. All of this ties into the next thing profitable companies have in common…  Read more

Sponsored Content: How Much is Too Much?

The past few months have been a rocky one for sponsored online content or “advertorials.” Between the Atlantic‘s Scientology dust-up and increasing paid content on websites like Buzzfeed and various outlets within the Gawkwer network, publishers are pushing boundaries and blurring the line between editorial and advertisement.

It’s a sticky subject, for sure, and the centerpiece of a Social Media Week debate in Buzzfeed’s Flatiron District office between Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith and conservative blogger and The Dist Andrew Sullivan. To describe the debate as a blood bath is even a little bit of an understatement, as the two personalities clashed vehemently over the advertorial’s place online — and the effect it has on journalism at large. Here’s a quote from the debate moderator, the Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson, from his write-up of the event: Read more

Should I Animate That? 5 Questions for Animated GIFs in Journalism

If you’ve seen this coverage of an emotional Olympics race on Buzzfeed or this guide of gymnastic detail on The Atlantic Wire, you’ve recently seen some nifty animated GIFs in journalism.

(Note: I didn’t say GIFs about journalism, like these news cats. Hopefully you’ve already seen those.)

The success of GIF-infused content in actual news content has some media circles buzzing around a longtime internet graphic capability: “Is this an overlooked tool, or just a fad?, “Are we Buzzfeedifying maintsream news orgs, or is that a silly question now?”, and “should journalists embrace them, or are they somehow detrimental to the craft?”

They aren’t all simple questions, and I don’t have answers. (I actually posed questions here, too.) But I can comfortably say there are indeed reasons the animated GIF can work well to tell a story online.

Likewise, there are reasons it may not.

Putting other debates aside, here are five simpler questions for journalists to consider on a case-by-case basis before using an animated GIF to help digitally tell your story. Read more

Panel of Techno-Optimists: The Shift to Social and Who’s Doing it Right

(L to R) David Carr of The New York Times, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, WaPoLabs Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large Rob Malda, and Flipboard Editorial Director Josh Quittner.

In an event hosted by New York University’s Center for Publishing and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies last night, social media experts discussed the shift to social content and what that means for the media industry. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, Rob Malda, chief strategist and editor-at-large of the WaPo Labs, and Josh Quittner, editorial director of Flipboard, opined under the moderation of the New York TimesDavid Carr. The mood was decidedly optimistic—as Quittner said at one point, “I think we’re all techno-optimists on this panel.”

The Social Epiphany
The conversation started on the shift to social. “I don’t really surf anymore,” said Carr, “most of my content… comes from somewhere and it’s like this vast, human enabled RSS that is pushing things towards me.” According to Smith, there was a dramatic change between 2010 and 2011 in terms of BuzzFeed’s traffic. Within a year, their biggest referrer went from Google to Facebook. As people change their media habits from seeking content to more passively getting content in the form of their Facebook or Twitter feeds, will they be able to stay well-informed? Read more

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