Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
BuzzFeed and the future of publishing
They’re not always great at citing sources, and it’s not exactly the height of intellectual journalism, but I’ll admit: BuzzFeed’s publishing strategy is commendable:
We don’t show crappy display ads and we make all our revenue from social advertising that users love and share. We never launched one of those “frictionless sharing” apps on Facebook that automatically shares the stories you click because those apps are super annoying. We don’t post deceptive, manipulative headlines that trick people into reading a story. We don’t focus on SEO or gaming search engines or filling our pages with millions of keywords and tags that only a robot will read. We avoid anything that is bad for our readers and can only be justified by short term business interests.
Instead, we focus on publishing content our readers love so much they think it is worth sharing. It sounds simple but it’s hard to do and it is the metric that aligns our company with our readers. In the long term it’s good for readers and good for business.
That’s from an email that BuzzFeed’s CEO sent to employees, and it’s worth reading in its entirety because it’s such a good description of the principles that good online publishing is built on.