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Buzzfeed's founder used to write Marxist theory
May 20, 2014 4:57 PM   Subscribe

When I reached out [to Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti] yesterday, asking whether he saw Buzzfeed as embodying the trends described in the paper or as subverting them, he simply replied, "lol."
posted by latkes (21 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Jonah Peretti’s viral-content machine purports to have solved the problems of both journalism and advertising at once, all with the help of a simple algorithm.
posted by latkes at 4:58 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]

man, I tried to read that but it just made my head hurt.
posted by photoslob at 5:04 PM on May 20

Its okay we'll all die soon. Lets hope on a good plague.
posted by The Whelk at 5:10 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]

Forget it, photoslob; it's Vox.
posted by Pudhoho at 5:11 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]

I don't think that selling products by offering people the opportunity to engage in identity play is that revolutionary (in terms of novelty) and I don't think that noted trash-machine Buzzfeed is particularly revolutionary (in terms of politics).
posted by codacorolla at 5:14 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]

latkes you are the guy.
posted by zscore at 5:19 PM on May 20

posted by polymodus at 5:23 PM on May 20

God save us all from being held to account for shit we wrote as undergrads.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:26 PM on May 20 [22 favorites]

A part of Peretti's public speeches today is about "the virality of Religion", or, in true linkbaity WTF? fashion: "Which is higher quality? Judaism or Mormonism?"

I had been tempted to make an FPP just about that, but my better self took over.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:29 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]

Metafilter: I'd share my view but the intentionality of the subject should not be privileged #1990s #undergrad
posted by oceanjesse at 6:20 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]

and I don't think that noted trash-machine Buzzfeed is particularly revolutionary (in terms of politics).
posted by p3on at 6:55 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]

Right in the listicles.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:02 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]

Oooh comedian Chelsea Peretti's brother.

I tried to read the article but realized he's Chelsea Peretti's brother and remembered that I liked the 100 Most Important Cats list a lot so I went to find that.
posted by discopolo at 9:00 PM on May 20

all with the help of a simple algorithm.

Newspapers hate him!
posted by BungaDunga at 9:07 PM on May 20 [4 favorites]

I always find it amusing when journalists try to dig deep into the past of their subjects in an effort to figure out who they "really are" (like reading Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis). Even outside of the fact that this paper was probably the result of a class assignment where the professor said, "you should get this published!", the stuff we were thinking about and ideas we were playing with 15-20 years ago was work done by a different person. I mean, God bless the person who has the attention span to put theoretical ideas into practice that he was working with as an undergrad 15 years ago and turn into a company more than a graduate degree, several jobs, and a decade later, but that's not how most people work.
posted by deanc at 9:11 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]

Yeah, that sounds like an arch-villain origin story or something, or similar to the Koch brothers' story of ascent, but I repeat myself, ba-dum-pshhh
posted by aydeejones at 12:34 AM on May 21

Yeah, that sounds like an arch-villain origin story or something, or similar to the Koch brothers' story of ascent, but I repeat myself, ba-dum-pshhh

I can sort of see the Bond villain origin story aspects of this, but I can envision something even more dystopian than that. This is almost like something out of Neal Stephenson or Don DeLillo where you have this young student character who thinks up this amazingly brilliant, watertight postmodern neo-Marxist/Foucauldian model of the world, but when he tries to put his analysis into action, he is continually confronted with the gloomy Thatcherite reality that "there is no alternative." So he does the only thing left he can do. He turns it into a business model.
posted by jonp72 at 6:15 AM on May 21 [4 favorites]

That was so funny. I suspect reading Deleuze and Guattari might be a bit more taxing. "Poacher turned gamekeeper." As someone with in some ways extreme autism (but not really suffering from it except socially), the flashing dissolving disconnected identities really fitted with my experience of reality! When i first went in a nightclub, i was like 'wow! there's a place that's like the inside of my head in reality!'. But i'm a very good consumer. Mainly secondhand.
posted by maiamaia at 2:01 PM on May 21

he simply replied, "lol."

To which I replied: "butts."
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:41 PM on May 21

Omnivore: Capitalism, despite Marx's best efforts
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on May 23

This was linked in Technoccult. Felix Salmon interviewed Jonah Peretti on Medium (91 minutes, slow readers!) with choice excerpts on Nieman Journalism Lab:
But some of the most interesting questions Salmon asks are about the editorial decisions at BuzzFeed, questions that are often lost in the flood of interest about their business and technology strategies. For example, the much talked about but little understood no-haters policy, in Peretti’s words:
JP: We tend to be enthusiastic and we tend to avoid snarky articles about mediocre things.

It’s not like there’s some hard rule. In general, we tend to avoid a post that is designed to make the author feel smart and superior and the reader to vicariously feel smart and superior because a Hollywood film is mediocre or because something in culture is mediocre.

FS: Honest enthusiasm is a sort of default stance at BuzzFeed.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:11 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]

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