Why BuzzFeed is winning

The New Republic’s Marc Tracy explains why BuzzFeed’s version of the Reza Aslan / Fox News interview captured so much attention:

As I reported in a New Republic story about the site [BuzzFeed] a year ago, its presence on social media, its clean layout, and its editorial philosophy of shearing most context from tidbits of news and giving readers just the thing itself—all make the site immaculately positioned to capitalize on the new news economy, in which readers increasingly find things like this video not by subscribing to or regularly visiting specific blogs or websites, but by happening upon independent articles shared via social media like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. Indeed, more than half of BuzzFeed’s pageviews have come from people clicking on links to the post that their friends shared on Facebook. (And don’t sleep on [BuzzFeed writer Andrew] Kaczynski’s headline—headlines being something that I would bet BuzzFeed spends a substantial amount of time thinking about. Kaczynski’s headline was, “Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?” Don’t you want to click and find out?) [Emphasis added.]

I love how BuzzFeed tells a story

Take a look at this story on BuzzFeed: “Everything You Need To Know About The Internet’s Feud With Papa John’s Pizza

Rather than unload paragraph after paragraph of text-based exposition, writer Ryan Broderick (“writer” isn’t the best title — “composer” perhaps?), crafts a backgrounder through a savvy use of subheads, images, blockquotes and meme highlights.

Is it the whole story? Of course not, but it’s a useful and highly scannable method for filling the gaps of a story.

(And you’ll notice they resisted the urge to turn the damn thing into a slideshow. That’s yet another reason I appreciate BuzzFeed.)