“i really feel like we need a buzzfeed-type writer,” our community manager Skypes me, because we’re hiring and dealing with all the fun stuff that that entails, “everyones going in that direction it seems.”
“What is that direction?” I ask. “something that you don’t have to click on yet do cause why not” is her answer. This is the most succinct description of the world of digital media I’ve heard so far.
In case you haven’t noticed, TechCrunch just launched
slideshows galleries. There is a stigma around these types of media formats, because they optimize for the advertiser versus the user on average. “20 Sites That Capitulated To The Awful Truth Of Web Publishing Before TechCrunch Did” is an idea one of our writers submitted for a gallery, after we launched them.
Today I had to listen to someone say the words “pieces of content” un-ironically, repeatedly. The person was very kind and sincere, just had never made the connection between that phrase and what other things it could sound like, namely, pieces of crap. I eventually pulled up the Nirvana song “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” to prove my point that writing should never be commoditized, even on the web. Behind every article is a human being.
Another thing I did today was see a tweet that said something like, “Being a teenager means you don’t have to apologize for liking the BuzzFeed quizzes.” It struck me, because even Rupert Murdoch loves those things. Why is the “awful truth” of web publishing that humans like dumb stuff? Why don’t we just admit that and move on, be cool with the appreciation of both high and low culture?
And, if we’re going to be so judgey, what is worthy of our clicks, the opposite of a BuzzFeed quiz? Well, I would venture not clicking on anything at all, spending time with family, eating a soft pretzel, being grateful for your youth and health.
But if everyone collectively did that, we’d go out of business. Brave new world with such pieces of content in it.
Image via Nravitz