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BuzzFeed’s strategy
July 31, 2012 11:17 AM   Subscribe

BuzzFeed's strategy. Jonah Peretti, a co-founder of the Huffington Post, later went on to found BuzzFeed, famous for it's linkbait lists. He recently wrote a company-wide memo touting the company's success and plans for the future.
posted by gwint (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
We want our cute animals, humor, and animated gifs to be the best of their kind on the web

Look on my animated GIFs, ye Mighty, and despair!
posted by Egg Shen at 11:30 AM on July 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


To be fair to buzzfeed, that pointless list of 101 "photos of food that the reporter didn't like" was all on one page.
posted by jacalata at 11:36 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aw, I spent all that time building up resentment over Buzzfeed's shameless list strategies, and now I like them again. Although that McSweeneys thing helped, as well.
posted by redsparkler at 11:36 AM on July 31, 2012


It's my understanding that Kottke is allowed to sit in the BuzzFeed offices, and for that reason any sin that BuzzFeed may have committed to anger the gods is negated.
posted by pwally at 11:38 AM on July 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm glad that they have a plan for the future. After all, next to oil, unattributed instagram photos of baby animals are the world's most precious finite resource.
posted by Shadax at 11:42 AM on July 31, 2012 [6 favorites]


Heh. It makes sense that Huffington Post, masters of SEOing a quote and a link to someone elses storry up Google News results, would be linked to scammy link baiters. A pox on them all!
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's funny that the first link in the post is a link to yet another linkbait/slideshow farm, Business Insider, whose shouty scare-mongering all-caps slideshows make HuffPo look like the Gray Lady Knitting Woolens.
posted by blucevalo at 11:46 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


This big opportunity is why we are focused on building an enduring, independent, and self-sustaining company. Nobody has built a truly great publishing company for the social age and we have a good shot to be the ones who do it.

Or maybe your entire audience will forget about you five minutes after WackyPics.fart posts a slightly better list of funny church signs
posted by theodolite at 11:47 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Was the "social age" the one were we lived communally or the one where everyone updated Facebook statuses that no one else read?
posted by DU at 11:50 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course the memo contains a numbered list.
posted by schmod at 11:53 AM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I only recently learned that Jonah Peretti is the brother of Chelsea Peretti, one of the hot comedians du jour. Small world, I guess?
posted by mhum at 11:54 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like Buzzfeed and I like the lists. AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!!! FREE!!! I FEEL....FREE!!!
posted by josher71 at 12:20 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Of course the memo contains a numbered list.

Until each entry displays a picture stolen from reddit, I won't believe it's actually from buzzfeed.
posted by inigo2 at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2012


The #derpdotcom hashtag is a thing of beauty.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


This part was striking:
venture capitalists don’t like funding companies that have reporters on staff. In the early days of BuzzFeed, I had several VCs say they were interested in investing if we could figure out a way to fire all the editors and still run the site. I’m not joking. Tech investors prefer pure platform companies because you can just focus on the tech, have the users produce the content for free, and scale the business globally without having to hire many people. Startups that promise this vision have an easier time attracting funding which is why there are so many startups trying to be the next Twitter or Facebook or the Instagram or Pinterest for X, Y, or Z. Meanwhile, companies that employ reporters, editors, and creative people usually struggle to get funding which is why so few publishing companies or agencies are venture backed.
The reason that digital advertising revenue is so low is that tech companies are able to create content without paying labor costs. Venture capitalists are enriching themselves by destroying jobs in the creative sector, made possible by this false rhetoric about democracy and being on the side of the people. If you're going to democratize something, why not democratize the ability to pay the rent and go to the doctor? This quote from Walter Benjamin could not be more relevant today: "Fascism sees its salvation in giving these masses not their right, but instead a means of expressing themselves."
posted by AlsoMike at 12:58 PM on July 31, 2012 [18 favorites]


I only recently learned that Jonah Peretti is the brother of Chelsea Peretti, one of the hot comedians du jour. Small world, I guess?

Wow. I just put that together... She came in to interview for a tech writer position at my dotcom like twelve years ago. We would have hired her had we not run out of VC. I'm so glad she ended up doing awesome, fabulous things instead of writing online help, and, y'know, synergyzing. (Go Chelsea!)
posted by mochapickle at 1:13 PM on July 31, 2012


Tech investors prefer pure platform companies because you can just focus on the tech, have the users produce the content for free, and scale the business globally without having to hire many people.
This isn't surprising, nor do I think it's wrong. VCs are chasing high-risk, high-return investments, ones that scale cheaply. That doesn't make BuzzFeed a bad business; it just makes it (potentially) a bad VC-backed company. There are many ways to fund a new business (even a website) that aren't venture capital.
posted by bbuda at 1:28 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


He talks a lot about "social advertising" and rejecting banner ads, but what does that actually mean? Is it "advertorial" type stuff where they create lists for sponsors?
posted by cell divide at 2:31 PM on July 31, 2012


The reason that digital advertising revenue is so low is that tech companies are able to create content without paying labor costs.

The reason that digital advertising revenue is so low is that nobody clicks on it, and they can tell.
posted by Diablevert at 3:47 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


I wonder if they've started enforcing stricter attribution rules after this Slate article broke. I also wonder if being lax about attribution is what he meant by "insanely tapped into the web" culture editors.
posted by Lieber Frau at 4:34 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


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