BuzzFeed launched a new tech blog today, FWD. Not “forward” as in, like, progress, but “forward” as in sharing. Spreading content on the social web. FWD editor Matt Buchanan lays it out in his introduction post:
“FWD is a way to share things. To pass them on. To nudge the conversation about technology in a different direction–maybe not the next level, exactly, but at least a different one. It’s fundamentally social, which is simply the way more and more of the web works now. Social is the web’s new reality.”
His little manifesto got us thinking. Just about every time the well funded news site makes a big announcement, a new staffer gives the meta-media a couple of quotes about the value and the allure of the social web.
As we recall, it all started when BuzzFeed hired Ben Smith as its editor in chief. A well-regarded Politico blogger, his faith in social content distribution was like a vote of confidence from a community of journalists who are digitally native but still serious about journalism.
“There is nothing more exciting for journalism and reporting than the social web,” said Mr. Smith. “Social media is what moves a story. It has become the primary way people, from plugged-in insiders to casual readers, get their news. BuzzFeed is the best in the world at distributing content on social sites, and it is a tremendous opportunity to join BuzzFeed — and its millions of readers — to build a new model for high-quality reporting.”
According to Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s next big hire, Doree Shafrir, was “ahead of her time writing stories with the emotional intelligence and social impact that has now become the currency of the social web.”
Ms. Shafrir told AdWeek, it was partly the opportunity to “be a part in the growth of the social web” that convinced her to leave Rolling Stone.
At Rolling Stone, Michael Hastings got the commander of U.S. operations in Afghanistan fired. But at BuzzFeed, where he was recently hired as the Obama campaign correspondent, he’ll be at the reportorial avant-garde.
“Social publishing is the future of journalism, or at least huge part of its future,” Mr. Hastings said, “By joining BuzzFeed, I’ll be at the front and center of that world.”
Kate Notopoulos risked Gawker mockery to preach the company gospel. “I believe that Buzzfeed really does ‘get’ the social web, and I’m excited to add to what they already do best,” she told Gawker. “PLEASE DON’T MAKE FUN OF ME FOR SAYING THAT.”
Perhaps such coherent messaging is a result of another recent hire. NBC News communications coordinator Ashley McCollum was recently made BuzzFeed’s press manager. As Mr. Smith told Politico , Ms. McCollum “has deep roots in television at a great network, but she’s also fluent and experienced in the social media where BuzzFeed lives.”