Buzzfeed Is Teaching Me to Cook

Cheese-Stuffed Pizza Pretzels

Posted by Tasty on Thursday, 14 January 2016

Admit it: you’re now ready to try this yourself.   Buzzfeed – long the master of virality – is conquering the foodies with its short wordless recipe vids.   Within 24 hours of posting, 37 million people had learned how to make cheese-stuffed pizza pretzels and 650,000 people had liked the recipe, according to Fortune.  Buzzfeed’s Tasty channel has now knocked Justin Bieber from the top spot of video creators,  having received a billion views in December.
What’s the secret?   One is that it’s content created specifically  – or optimised –  for Facebook, which make use of its Autoplay feature.  They’re so quick that you may as well finish watching them if you start.  According to Fortune, this strategy can be expensive, and risky,

On top of the costs, there’s a high risk for publishers that rely on a platform like Facebook or Snapchat to distribute their content. Famous YouTube stars have long complained that they don’t “own” their subscribers. In other words, if they left YouTube they’d have to build up their following again from scratch. The same is true of Facebook, which constantly tweaks its algorithm to favor or suppress certain kinds of content. Algorithm tweaks have tanked entire media businesses (ahem, Upworthy). Of late, Facebook’s algorithm has favored video posts above photos and text-only posts.

To many, outsourcing digital distribution is a repeat of what happened in the web’s earliest days. Everyone wanted their publications to live inside a web portal like AOL, and it seemed mutually beneficial: AOL had the audience but no content to give them, and media organizations (including Time Inc.’s former parent company, Time Warner), had the content but no audience. But those relationships soured and media companies decided it was better to control and operate their own websites.

“Every content provider, every production company, every publisher would like to have control over the pipe,” Cooper says. But since social media platforms are today’s “pipes,” BuzzFeed is working within that construct. The company has mitigated risk by using multiple platforms, giving the company “the distinct advantage of not becoming over-reliant on one platform,” Cooper says.

Buzzfeed has taken this one step further, by burrowing down and creating Proper Tasty, a channel specifically for British comfort food lovers, which turns out to be their fastest facebook page.   This is the Long Tail of the internet, allowing publishers to target niche populations.  And as a Brit, I have to admit that I may just end up trying bangers and mash sausage rolls.

Bangers And Mash Sausage Rolls

Posted by Proper Tasty on Sunday, 17 January 2016

READING:  1) Should Reddit be blamed for spreading a smear? (NYT)                                                                                       2) Ten Ways That Journalists Can Use Twitter Before, during and After a Story (Poynter)                                                     3) Digital Media Ethics (Uni of Wisconsin)

ASSIGNMENT:

Live tweet a news event.  Ideally it would be something local that you are actually present at, though it could be a press conference or some other such event that you are watching live online.   It should be something that relates to your beat.   Paste each tweet into your wordpress site, so that others are able to view your live-tweeting experience.   Please do not paste teeny-weeny screenshots. (for Jan 24 8pm)    The rubric is here.   USE THE CLASS HASHTAG! #c439

Five Things You Could Live-Tweet