Why You Shouldn’t Ignore FWD, BuzzFeed’s New Tech Vertical

BuzzFeed has launched a new tech vertical, FWD. Yes, it is another tech site to bookmark. Yes, the market is getting pretty crowded with them. But please don’t ignore this new kid on the block.

Here’s why: FWD starts off acknowledging how important the social is. It wants to do more than just share news about Apple and new tablets. FWD is trying to turn the tech news niche into something personal and personable, and perhaps most importantly, social.

“FWD is a way to share things. To pass them on. To nudge the conversation about technology in a different direction–maybe not the next level, exactly, but at least a different one. It’s fundamentally social, which is simply the way more and more of the web works now. Social is the web’s new reality,” the site’s editor, Matt Buchanan, writes in his introduction of FWD.

Buchanan hits it right on the head. Today’s news consumer wants to be able to read about something and then tweet the author a question — and get an answer. Or maybe write a Facebook post to discuss a new gadget or story with friends across the world. And that’s just scraping the surface of ways to be social. Who knows what else the editors at FWD are cooking up.

One idea is to change the way we talk about technology.

“If technology is culture, why don’t we start talking about it that way? The way we talk about films and music and art and just straight up pop culture: With the understanding that sometimes it’s really funny, sometimes it’s deadly serious, and sometimes it’s stupid nerdy, but it’s always a part of the way we live,” Buchanan writes.

The site’s only been up for about a day and already has dozens of posts up. Stories range from criticizing Apple’s employment claims to a discussion of grammar use when talking about technology to puppies playing with iPads.

So, for now, I’m giving FWD the benefit of the doubt and adding it to my bookmarks tab. Maybe it will be a bust and not live up to its editors’ high expectations. But it could also be an amazing experiment in social journalism to watch.

Have you visited FWD yet? What did you think about it?