Dear Jonah Peretti (Founder) and Jon Steinberg (President),
I am a millennial. I’m part of the “fast-forward generation.” The Attention Deficit Disorder generation. The participation award generation. Millenials have acquired lots of titles, few of which are flattering (haters). Many of these stem from the way we consume media. As journalism continues to evolve, some would say die, BuzzFeed is stacking up the likes and shares with your list-centric, easily digestible content. Many say that Buzzfeed is another nail in the coffin of journalism, a once proud and honorable industry. In reading the fine print of your ‘about’ section, Buzzfeed doesn’t claim to be the next New York Times, to quote:
“BuzzFeed is the social news and entertainment company. BuzzFeed is redefining online advertising with its social, content-driven publishing technology. BuzzFeed provides the most shareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment and video across the social web to its global audience of 100M.”
For the most part, I would agree with this statement though “original reporting” might be a stretch. But you’re not out there trying to bring social issues to light or a break the story of the decade (or year, or month). You want views, click-thrus, and shares because it makes money. A wise man once said “cash rules everything around me,” so I can’t hate.
I know how much you like lists so here are the top 7 things that Buzzfeed achieves in my opinion.
7. Creating shareable, topical lists (obviously)
6. Cluttering my Facebook newsfeed
5. Distracting me at work, thanks (seriously)
4. Aggregating the backwash of the internet
3. Capturing the zeitgeist of the social media generation
2. A snicker here and there
1. Combating Smarm
I’m interested to watch the progression of Buzzfeed. As long as there are pictures of puppies and kittens on the internet you’ll be just fine.