BuzzFeed has built a lucrative business on organizing the internet's confusing spectacle into listicles easily comprehended by even the most numbed office workers. But the site's approach to all content as building blocks for viral lists puts it in an awkward position in relation to internet etiquette and journalistic ethics.
In effort to free up the longtime staff writers from a daily content quota and give them more breathing room, we instilled the whole traffic-whore model for about a month with varying results. The ultimate goal of this exercise was to show how, often times, the stories thought to be guaranteed traffic-drivers never materialized and how some of the longer stories outperformed them. The message: good is good, and you don't have to anchor your success to the oftentimes flukey nature of internet readers' tastes.
"Online curiosity collecter," Twitter power user, and sometime Gawker contributor Katie Notopoulos (pictured right) will be joining BuzzFeed as a senior editor in two weeks, working with managing editor Scott Lamb to bring her ongoing documentation of the weird, stupid, gross and hilarious on the internet under the BuzzFeed banner.
Political blogger Ben Smith's career is a series of progressively wackier job moves. He was at the NY Daily News, covering state politics, and was more respected than the average tabloid writer. He moved to THE POLITICO, where he's been blogging about politics and media for the past five years, managing to stay more respected (by us!) than his micro-horse-race-obsessed paper as a whole. Now, he's off to an even weirder destination!
When People magazine named Bradley Cooper 2011's "Sexiest Man Alive" yesterday, it incurred an instant backlash—a BuzzFeed-led group of Ryan Gosling supporters even picketed outside the magazine's New York offices. On tonight's Report, Stephen Colbert added himself to the growing list of those upset with People's pick.