Take a quiz about what to give up for Lent; find your relationship with God in 8 clicks or less.
Read more. [Image: Buzzfeed]
Around this time last year, I considered writing a story claiming that Facebook and Twitter were the new “homepages” for news on the Internet. It was going to be about how, if the Web had ripped out the article pages of newspapers and magazines and scattered them to the wind, Facebook and Twitter had pinched them from the air and stacked them in easy, vertical columns that were becoming our new first-look sources for the day’s events.
A year ago, social networks are the new homepage seemed like an (almost) original observation. Today, it’s just a boring fact.
In the last twelve months, traffic from home pages has dropped significantly across many websites while social media’s share of clicks has more than doubled, according to a 2013 review of the BuzzFeed Partner Network, a conglomeration of popular sites including BuzzFeed, the New York Times, and Thought Catalog.
Facebook, in particular, has opened the spigot, with its outbound links to publishers growing from 62 million to 161 million in 2013. Two years ago, Facebook and Google were equal powers in sending clicks to the BuzzFeed network’s sites. Today Facebook sends 3.5X more traffic.
Read more. [Image: Facebook]
The Internet is, on top of everything else, a word generator of unparalleled proportions. As a platform for expression, the thing has provided us with an explosion of new terms—and, with them, new conundrums. There are the old classics (“Web” or “web”? “Wi-Fi” or “wifi”? "email" or "e-mail"?), but there are also the newer quandaries ("unfriend" or "un-friend"? "tweet" or "Tweet"? "LOL" or "lol" or "lolllllllllllllll"?).
On the one hand, these need not be pressing problems; one of the joys of Internet writing is its freeing of the writer to find his or her unique style. So go ahead, fellow Internet user—make up some words! Abbreviate some existing ones! Portmanteau things up, winventively and tweeatively!
On the other hand, sometimes even the uniquest most unique quirkiest Internet writer wants some standardization. Sometimes you want some rules that aren’t entirely diy DIY. Sometimes, personal style just wants some collective guidance.
Should you seek that help, it is now here.
Two weeks ago, Israel expanded its robust “public diplomacy” efforts, which include an active Twitter presence and a popular military Instagram, with a post written by its American embassy (@IsraelinUSA) on the redoubtable viral news and entertainment juggernaut BuzzFeed.
Instead of something in line with the light fare normally found on the community section of the website, which is home to such items as “15 Ways That Cats Are Trying To Take Over Our Lives,” ”18 Inappropriate Places to Twerk,” and other ephemera created by readers, the Israeli embassy’s debut tackled a more solemn subject. Headlined, “Threats Facing Israel, Explained In One (Sort of Terrifying) Map,” the post outlined and detailed the menacing perils on the country’s borders.
Read more. [Image: Screenshot]
Listen up for an important career lesson: If you’re clever enough to co-create a meme that gets so popular, the Secretary of State lolz along with it, you’re probably clever enough to work for one of the Internet’s leading meme chronicler and generators. Stacy Lambe, the sharp-witted Tumblr user who co-created (with Adam Smith) the short-lived Tumblr Texts from Hilary and the mind behind I’m With Kanye has been hired by BuzzFeed. (His face is semi-hidden in the composite above.)
BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith—who’s been a hiring spree lately—announced the hire on Twitter (of course) and Lambe retweeted it. We can’t wait to read Lambe’s posts like—who knows?—”Texts from Salty Lolcats Dressed in Sailor Outfits" and "Planking with Bill: A Feline Interpretation.”
There is no better testament to the influence of the late Andrew Breitbart than the buzz over a 1991 video of Barack Obama at Harvard Law School that Breitbart.com is heralding. Unfortunately, the buzz also points to the other side of Breitbart’s legacy: a tendency to overhype non-stories.
For weeks, Breitbart.com’s scoop has been hotly anticipated. Prior to the publisher-provocateur’s untimely death, he said he was working on a project to “vet” President Obama, especially his record at Harvard Law School — a task he felt had not been done. But if this video is the best his allies can do, either Obama’s Harvard days aren’t fertile ground for opposition researchers or else he was better vetted four years ago than Breitbart thought.
Read more. [Video: Buzzfeed]