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BuzzFeed and The Bored Network

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World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

BuzzFeed and The Bored Network


“When I started BuzzFeed, we had no idea what we were doing initially,” said Scott Lamb, BuzzFeed’s international vice president. “We just tried a lot of different things.”

Well, the philosophy of giving new things a go has certainly helped the company famous for its listicles.

While news organisations around the world are cutting costs, BuzzFeed has been spreading its paws further. Don’t be fooled. In case you didn’t already know, BuzzFeed is more than just about cute cats. It’s been busy hiring experienced foreign correspondents and working on creating an investigative journalism unit helmed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mark Schoofs.

A guest speaker at Publish Asia 2014 in Hong Kong, Lamb said the company has Southeast Asia in its radar. BuzzFeed has already expanded to Japan and India. 

In his talk to a packed ballroom full of media executives and editors from all over the world, Lamb said it was crucial to know what BuzzFeed describes as The Bored Network which he said was bigger than any traditional media outlet.

The Bored Network refers to a decentralized network that “enables media to go viral if ordinary people enjoy sharing it.” Within this network, he said there’s The Bored-At Home Network. These are the folks who use more of their tablet and mobile devices in the evenings and on weekends at home. Then, there’s The Bored-At-Work Network where office workers blog, tweet, use Facebook and instant messaging services all day. In addition, there’s The Bored-In-Line Network which refers to bored folks who might be waiting for the train or who have a 30-second break  as they walk to the restroom. They’re likely to flip out their smartphones to check out their social media feeds. Mobile is very important to BuzzFeed. In fact, about 50 per cent of the site’s traffic comes from mobile. You just can’t expect for content to go viral unless it is shareable via mobile devices.

In order to succeed in the social publishing game, Lamb said you need to realise that the industry is an art, science and business. You need all three.



Satish Cheney


2014-04-25 09:21

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