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Hype is a weaponized form of optimism
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Feb. 28, 2014, 5:23 p.m.

BuzzFeed_LogoBuzzFeed editor Ben Smith came up to Cambridge this week and gave a talk at the Nieman Foundation about the site’s evolution from a meme factory into a meme factory that also reports on events in the Crimean peninsula. Our friends at Nieman Reports have video of the full event (featuring a few questions from us Nieman Labbers) and a BuzzFeed-inspired selection of quotes. This, for instance, is true:

My actual day-to-day view is that every single piece of content is competing with every single other piece of content all the time.

As is this:

One of the advantages of starting from scratch is that you can rethink beat structures. Gay rights is this huge story of the last 10 years, but it’s covered as a B-list beat at a lot of publications just because it always has been. For us, it’s very much a frontline beat, and we’re able to hire the best reporters who really own that beat.

Much more at Nieman Reports.

While he was in town, Ben also gave a talk at the Shorenstein Center over at the Kennedy School; you can hear audio of that here, read Perry Hewitt’s thoughts here, and see a Storify here.

And, if that’s still not enough GIFs for you, check out our archive of BuzzFeed-related pieces here on the Lab.

buzzfeed-lol

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