Excerpt from article written By Mathew Ingram and published on GigaOM:
"BuzzFeed co-founder Jonah Peretti compares a nine-year-old website known primarily for its “listicles” and funny cat GIFs to a venerable and award-winning newsmagazine like Time. There are a lot more similarities between Time magazine and BuzzFeed than even most media-industry watchers would probably care to admit.
Peretti describes how he started reading David Halberstam’s book “The Powers That Be"...
“The stories in the book, which was first published in 1979, are great reminders that even traditional media companies like Time Inc., CBS, and the New York Times were once small startups. In those early days, they had many similarities to BuzzFeed and other new web startups that are emerging today.”
As the BuzzFeed founder notes, Time magazine started as just a crazy plan hatched by a couple of twenty-something former university friends named Henry Luce and Briton Hadden. Their bright idea? To take news that had already been reported by other more mainstream media organizations and summarize it, make it more readable and more entertaining, but mostly short enough so people could catch up on the news. In other words, the first modern newsmagazine.
In case you missed it, that sounds an awful lot like what BuzzFeed and others, including Gawker and The Huffington Post, did when they first arrived on the scene: they aggregated and highlighted content from other outlets and made it more user-friendly, made it more entertaining. That may be difficult to reconcile with the Time magazine we know now, but that’s how the empire began (others were also summarizing the news, including a startup called Reader’s Digest).
“Time began as a clipping service in a small office. A group of writers subscribed to a dozen newspapers and summarized the most important stories, rewriting the news in a more digestible format. BuzzFeed also started as a clipping service in a small office seven years ago. Instead of subscribing to newspapers, we surfed the web.”
“Again and again, the conventional wisdom was dismissive of every new medium; each new communications technology was seen as a fad, a tool for demagoguery, or the end of journalism. And always these skeptics were proven wrong, usually by newbies who didn’t care about the old way things were done.”...
Read full, long and interesting article here:
Via Giuseppe Mauriello