Story 2014-07-03 3PX The state of social media reporting

The state of social media reporting

in ask on (#3PX)
The New York Times has just published a blistering review of BuzzFeed. Yes, BuzzFeed is maddening and crazy and frenetic and vaguely unnerving, but the NYT nails it:
The site knows that successful diversion depends on continually toggling its joystick between micronostalgia for the past (“55 Things Only ’90s Teenage Girls Can Understand”) and microexaminations of the latest microtrend (“The ‘Gingers Have Souls’ Kid Just Released a Hip-Hop Music Video”). BuzzFeed will simultaneously pretend that joy is an ever-renewable resource (“13 Cute Kid Vines You’ll Watch Over and Over Again”) while also hinting that our stores of happiness are dangerously low and dwindling (“13 Holidays You’ve Been Celebrating Totally Wrong”). ...

In fact, the more time you spend on BuzzFeed, the more the boundaries between “win” and “fail” seem to blur. After a while, it’s impossible not to slip into a disassociative trance, in which you surrender to the allure of some perpetual, trivial nowhereland, nestled somewhere between “15 Cats That You Don’t Want to Mess With” and the “44 Hong Kong Movie Subtitles Gone Wrong.”
Have a look at the Onion parody they reference, too: it's awesome. But that brings up an interesting question: we've got Facebook's Timeline (which we now know is manipulated), Reddit, various sites like this one, and dozens of big and small sites trying to be the first and fastest to spot or create trends, broach news subjects, or get people talking (and viewing advertisements). Is this as far as we're going to go? What's the next step? Are sites like Slashdot old news? Is the BuzzFeed frenzy ultimately unsustainable? Is it "32 news sites you should be reading daily"?
Reply 15 comments

Slashdot and other kinds of dots are still absolutely useful (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-03 14:06 (#2AZ)

I don't think we're in any kind of danger of being irrelevant. These kinds of websites regroup a technical audience that cares deeply about a particular subject, so that they can have (hopefully) enlightening conversations and learn about the latest discoveries in their field. That is a completely different mission objective than a website which, the summary admits, is basically all over the place with extremely shallow content. This website does a good job of showing just what we're dealing with here...

Just look at pipedot. It doesn't have a huge community, but it doesn't have to. There's still quality content in here. This site is "threatened" by buzzfeed the same way indie games are "threatened" by AAA games: not at all since they address different audiences.

That is, until site owners decide they want to chase the big crowd. But that's not because the site doesn't work, it's because the owner has dollar signs in his eyes.

Re: Slashdot and other kinds of dots are still absolutely useful (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-03 14:10 (#2B0)

Also I would add that since buzzfeed and such sites frequently take content from others without proper attribution, they may not always be around...

Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-03 16:59 (#2B2)

I just get a login redirect.

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-03 18:09 (#2B5)

The link to the NYT is good - just checked it myself from another computer.

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-03 22:38 (#2B6)

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: -1, Flamebait)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-04 02:56 (#2B7)

Zafiro, the link is fine. Fatphil appears to have assumed the unrequested role of Pipedot Idiot Troll in Residence. Just ignore his inanity. Maybe he will go away.

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-04 19:44 (#2BE)

Ha ha, I'm trying to get people to COME to this site, not go away! :) But all I know is, if someone says the link doesn't work, and I try it and it works, my job is done. Although it's funny watching someone desperately fail to figure out how to get to the linked article - Christ, you can even read it in the printed URL!

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-07-06 21:18 (#2BZ)

Presumably you have historically signed in to their website, and have a cookie that lets you get past their block. I have not, and therefore do not. Even people on /., the IQ level of which I was hoping |. would exceed, understood this. Do you really not remember the annoyance that NYT links used to cause? Often, someone would post an alternative URL with whatever affiliate/partner field in the query was sufficient for getting past their block. Alas those parameters were whack-a-mole.

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-07 09:19 (#2C3)

The "Submit" button is at the top-right, pal. Go to it.

I barely have enough time to post and edit stuff for this site, much less worrying about who's likely to have or lack cookies, and at the risk of freetards insulting my intelligence. Pipedotters may or not have surpassed the IQ of Slashdotters, but the troll factor seems to be about the same ...

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-07-09 15:29 (#2CT)

I love it, semi-official confirmation that phatfil is the resident Pipedot troll. :) This is of course a NYT problem, in that they restrict access to articles based on IP address and cookies, and apparently ignore their own policy about allowing 2nd party inbound links to work (maybe there's a whitelist now) --

-- but at the least they STILL show you a preview of the article and a login prompt. So fatty is still out of line / lying / way out there.

Re: Any chance of a link that works? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-09 18:06 (#2D4)

It's true I've got a NYT membership, for which I pay. That is something I hadn't considered. But I'm also living in Senegal (see so I've got an African IP address. You wouldn't believe what kind of trouble that gets me. A lot of sites - American consumer sites, mostly - are totally off-limits to me. Netflix, for example: I can't even get past the front page. A lot of Youtube/Vimeo stuff too: "This video is not available to your region." What the fuck? This isn't what the Internet was supposed to be all about.

Fscebook Timeline (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-05 04:38 (#2BH)

How is Timeline being manipulated?I left FB when timeline was introduced..

Re: Fscebook Timeline (Score: 1)

by on 2014-07-05 04:44 (#2BJ)

Nevermind. Removed all of the blocks for facebook and googled it. That is absolutely disgusting behaviour by Facebook. So glad I left.