Mark Duffy, better known as Copyranter, tweeted today that we was fired from Buzzfeed for not being “buzzfeedy” enough. Fellow journos and media hounds commiserated with him, noting that not being ‘buzzfeedy’ can be a good thing.
It’s hard not to respect the success of Buzzfeed, and I had always counted Copyranter’s posts among the best parts of the site, right along with Ben Smith’s news vertical. But what does being ‘buzzfeedy’ even mean? Not having enough pictures? Including only twenty gifs when the standard is 34? Do you have to hit certain targets in terms of being shared? That’s a lot of pressure.
We’ve all probably had to think about how to make our headlines and posts be more buzzfeedy, as in, making it worth sharing, constructed to go viral. Even respectable outlets, like the Center for Investigative Journalism, is in on the game with posts such as “The Ten Most Unintentionally Hilarious Propoganda Videos.”
In solidarity, let’s all take a minute this weekend and see if we can figure out a way to garner an audience and engage users across the web without numbers, lists, or snark. Challenge accepted?