Going Viral

Media and Tech Companies Are Weirdly Obsessed With This Team Management App

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When we think of something “going viral,” usually the first association is videos of pandas sneezing and clicky BuzzFeed listicles, not office management software. But a program called Slack is sweeping through media and tech companies, mostly because people who leave Hipchat and Gmail to try it out become major converts, and can barely shut up about it.

In only one year, Slack has become the go-to for teams at the Wall Street Journal, Airbnb, HBO, eBay, Gawker Media, Medium, BuzzFeed, PayPal, and dozens of other companies that are just as impressiveRead More

Oops

Ashton Kutcher’s Viral Content Site Accused of Plagiarizing from BuzzFeed

Steve Jobs never would have done this! Probably. (Photo: ScreenRant)

Speaking of Steve Jobs doppelgangers, Ashton Kutcher might be in hot water.

Mr. Kutcher, who’s an actor in the sheets but a tech guy in the streets (or is it the other way around?), apparently owns a viral content site called A+. And the site’s being accused of plagiarism, the Daily Dot reports.

Ironically, the site’s being accused of lifting content from BuzzFeed — which recently came under fire after one of its writers was found to have plagiarized from such esteemed reference sites as Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers. Read More

Off the Media

Chasing Ghosts: ‘Attention Minutes’ Are Voodoo, CPM is Still What Counts

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Though we often criticize sites like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed for their do-anything-for-clicks mentality, deep down we know it’s not really their fault. It’s the advertisers who also make this trade lucrative. The way publishers see it, they are just fulfilling a need.

I’ve been there myself. I know that pageviews are a terrible metric for measuring “quality”—I’ve compared it to the military measuring success by bodycount. But what else is there? Read More

FARNAM STREET

Filter The Noise: Finding The Signal in an Information Overload World

(Photo via SerenelyRapt.wordpress)

In a world of too much information you need something or someone to help point you toward what’s relevant, interesting, and valuable. Otherwise you’d get overwhelmed.

Search engines do this but so do businesses and people. Some are trying to scam you, some are trying to collect your information, some are trying to entertain you, some are trying to sell something to you, and some are just trying to get you to click on a link so they can show you an ad. Most of these people will stop at nothing for your attention even when they are feeding you the mental equivalent of junk food. BuzzFeed, I’m looking at you. Read More

Internet Culture

BuzzFeed Publishes Style Guide, Teaches Us How To Spell ‘Vine-ing’

(Facebook)

Somewhere in between publishing all those crazily addictive and horribly inaccurate quizzes (we are SO not the cheers beers emoji), BuzzFeed published a style guide. They’re hoping to standardize the way we write stuff on the Internet. 

The style guide clarifies important spelling-related quandaries, like “baby daddy, baby mama (two words),” and “chocolaty (not ‘chocolatey’)” (we’re not sure if we agree with that one).  It also outlines the acceptable terminology for covering various specific, relevant topics, like LGBT issues, music and recipes. Finally, it outlines an extensive corrections policy. Read More

Off the Media

It’s War: Scale and Intimacy Duke it Out in the Comments Section

One of the ironies of American “high societies” is that some of its most prestigious institutions were founded by members of what was, at the time, one of the lowliest professions: journalism.

Take the Bohemian Club, the private refuge of many future and ex-presidents, billionaires and captains of industry. It was started by a bunch of dirty staff writers at the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1870s. Read More