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Posts Tagged ‘Jonah Peretti’

THR ‘Most Powerful’ List Reflects New Media’s Influence

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The Hollywood Reporter just released its annual “most powerful people in New York media” list, and the most surprising thing about it is how unsurprising the new listings are.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg provides the story’s lede–and while the piece mentions the expansion of Bloomberg TV and Businessweek, everyone knows that it’s still all about those terminals.

The big news, though, is the addition of the names you’ve come to know from the digital side.

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Content Forecast: Partly Sunny Skies, Some Clouds and Fog, High Revenue Pressure Front

AMC 2013 Logo FinalAs the lines around content continue to blur, the media industry assessment and outlook has been mixed. The AM2C / American Magazine Media Conference in New York this week convened a wide range of media, ad and tech industry leaders. They offered an array of diverse and sometimes controversial perspectives, and below are selected excerpts. Much like the classic Farmers Almanac, only time will tell how it all plays out.

Content quality: (Jonah Peretti, co-founder and CEO, BuzzFeed)

“It’s dangerous to only follow the optimization numbers. You need the creativity to experiment with lots of different content types. There’s a broad purview of topic areas we cover, from entertainment to investigative reporting. We create content that people are proud to share.”

“If you only create salacious garbage, then you end up with 90 percent of people that won’t want to read your site and won’t want to return.”

Discovering unique content: (Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google)

“In the media industry everyone is at the same confabs reporting the same things. The challenge is to report things that no one else has found.”

“Editorial content tells me things I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. Google can program 90 percent of serendipity regarding what you’re reading and who your friends are, so we can suggest other interesting items. The other ten percent is one-offs, and there you need gifted editors.”

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BuzzFeed Has This ‘Sponsored Content’ Thing Down

The biggest “must read” story making its way around the web this week is New York Magazine’s profile of BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti and his enviably successful approach to paid content.

To sum things up, Peretti, who also helped launch The Huffington Post, was a math student at MIT who grew fascinated with the concept of viral memes and later created BuzzFeed as a tool to identify and facilitate the spread of said memes via algorithm. His goal was to truly capture the magic behind “word of mouth” buzz (the cat GIFs and political reporting came later). Most of the Internet and quite a few of the biggest brands in the world agree that Peretti has uncovered a secret formula for creating native advertising that might just go viral. Here are some revelations from the profile:

  • BuzzFeed editors work directly with marketing specialists from partner brands to create content in a “newsroom”-style environment.
  • The vast majority of traffic for both BuzzFeed originals and paid posts comes from social sharing.
  • The site’s most popular posts don’t go viral after a single big-name personality shares them — they’re simply picked up by several isolated individuals who share them in small groups (average nine Facebook friends) that spawn small “share” groups of their own.
  • There’s a science to this. Peretti has literally devised a formula.

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Who Let the Dogs In? Man’s Best Friend Gains Entree and Influence

Lately canines have been getting the attention and red carpet treatment they deserve. No longer stay-at-home dogs, they now accompany their owners to venues such as banks (right), hotels, ballparks, and even the alter. They have certainly earned their reward, since they play a role in many aspects of humans’ lives, including serving in the military, as seeing-eye dogs, companions and as conversation starters for singles.

Dog owners represent a sizable and devoted audience, and their spending has been relatively recession-proof. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. households own at least one dog, and if people with an affinity for dogs are included, that number is far higher.

Madison Avenue and Hollywood have long featured dogs based on their enormous popularity, and now other industries have followed suit. Here are ten examples of dogs’ increased exposure, ranging from media, entertainment and travel to sports and politics.

  • Madison Avenue often chooses dogs for its high profile ads, such as the Volkswagen spot called “The Bark Side” starring a canine chorus that aired during this year’s Super Bowl.
  • Hollywood celebrated Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who nearly stole the show at the Oscars this year based on his performance in The Artist.
  • Silicon Valley companies are known for allowing dogs on their campuses. DogPatch Labs is a startup incubator, and new site MatchPuppy.com find play dates for dogs and their owners.
  • In social media some dogs have a voice with their own Twitter accounts. Among YouTube’s most popular videos are those with canines (including nearly 17 million views for VW’s ad)
  • Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed, readily acknowledges that dog related content (especially beagles) generated much of his site’s traffic. (Huffington Post is better known for cat videos)
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BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: ‘Our Reporters Are Doing the Kind of Work Reporters Love to Do’

In the first part of our three-part “Media Beat” interview with Jonah Peretti, the BuzzFeed founder discusses how his company is becoming a full-scale news organization following a flurry of recent hires and breaks down how social media drives news online.

“We have reporters who have beats and sources, and can do original work,” Peretti says, “the kind of work that reporters love to do, where they dig in on a story. They’re not just aggregating, they’re not summarizing what’s happening elsewhere, they’re creating something new and original.”

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