Tag Archives: buzzfeed

11 Literature Classics Retitled As Linkbait

I’ve hated the Buzzfeeding of the Internet since before there was a Buzzfeed. I remember working for Cracked.com in the early days when they had first relaunched, and every time I did something for them, they came back to me and said it had to be expanded into the form of a list. This was many years ago. And I argued with them. And guess what—they were right. Lists work. People love them. LOVE them. In this A.D.D. world of infinite content, people want little tidbits of entertainment, fast and simple. And that’s what they get from Buzzfeed, Cracked, Huffpo, etc… Not to say there aren’t some well-thought out pieces of truly entertaining content on these sites. It’s just… well, it depresses me that this sort of psychological trickery is so effective. It makes it seems like humans are robots—easily hacked.

Oh but anyway, this week’s Dustinland comic is inspired by all of that. I could do it forever, honestly. It was hard to stop at 11. Maybe I’ll do a sequel if this one blows up and I get a zillion hits. Whatevs. Internets. I mean, because Internets.

Online Exposure

So, clearly in this week’s comic I am making fun of Buzzfeed, but I must admit, I don’t ever go to that site and they’ve never stolen my content. Some other big sites have though, and I think it’s all the same schtick. It’s not “stealing” if they give you attribution. That’s the theory. And, you know, of course exposure to a wider audience is great. The problem is that a very tiny percentage of these people will ever click through the links that make up these lists. Come on, you’re busy looking at “The 29 most interesting squirrels of the first half of 2013,” there’s no way you’re going to have the patience to learn more about one specific post on the list.

I will say though, it’s kind of a different topic, but it’s frustrating to see people call the Buzzfeed guy a genius. I mean, sure, he is a genius at making money but I think the Internet is full of sites that just aggregate pop culture references and memes and little tidbits that pander to the lowest common denominator… sites that gather rather than create. These sites know how to make money and make things go viral but it’s not art. It’s nothing new. No one gains anything from it. It’s just quick blurts of stuff, the equivalent of old school email FW: FW: FW: FW: chain letter often times. Meh, enough ranting. I think you know what I mean.

PS Most of these sites are super ugly as well. Just sayin.