BuzzFeed: The Superhero of the Email Newsletter

There’s a great scene in the classic comic book Watchmen in which a brainiac superhero gazes at a floor-to-ceiling bank of television sets — each broadcasting a different channel — so that he may occasionally spurt out uncannily oracular predictions about imminent trends in world events. In a way, this scenario is the story of BuzzFeed writ large (and minus the tights): by filtering a myriad of incoming data through a few well-trained and intuitive minds, the site’s crack staff has an almost unsettling ability to tap into the proverbial pulse of the cyberverse. But things weren’t always like this. A few years before BuzzFeed became the viral cyclone of culture-crunching quizzes a la “Which Putin are You?,” the whole affair was ready to silently fade into the ether.  However, things took a big turnaround at about the same time the site signed up Politico writer Ben Smith as editor-in-chief and Spin ’magazine’s Steve Kandell in 2012. The BuzzFeed crew already had solid culture credentials — CEO Jonah Peretti was a co-founder of the Huffington Post — but the addition of Smith and Kandell seemed to have created a tipping point. How? There was the team’s move to stir more serious issues and longform formatting into the mix, a decision made when Smith noticed that even the deep stuff was now proliferating via feeds. The staff’s ability to make advertisers happy with BuzzFeed’s seamless fusion of branded content didn’t hurt either. But it was really when BuzzFeed started leaning on the intuitive flashes of its people to go beyond algorithms that the site began regularly producing feeds with shares...

Local vs. Global Approaches to Facebook: A Challenge for Global Companies

by Jonas Klit Nielsen Historically, most global companies have not executed global marketing campaigns. They have created brand campaigns that either follow standardized global brand guidelines or adapt brand messages to the local market (localization). Nowhere is the debate between local versus global social media communication playing out more than on Facebook. Global brands are facing the issue of whether to centralize their communication into one global brand Facebook page, or to have pages for each local market. Read full article at...