Jonah Peretti

  • Aired:  12/16/13
  •  | Views: 13,410

BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti talks about his company's embrace of journalism and reflects on the future of media. (5:57)

>> Stephen: MY GUEST TONIGHTIS THE C.E.O. OF BECAUSE FEED.

I'LL GIVE YOU ONE REASON WHYHE'S ON THE GREATEST SHOW EVER.

PLEASE WELCOME JONAH PERETTI.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)THANK YOU, HEY, JONAH, THANKS SO

MUCH FOR COMING ON.

MERRY CHRISTMAS.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: MERRY CHRISTMAS.

HOW ARE YOU?

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MY FRIEND.

>> MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, HAPPYHOLIDAYS.

>> Stephen: THANK YOU VERYMUCH.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> THAT WAS AGONIZING.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

FOUNDER AND C.E.O. OF BUZZFEED.

ONE OF THE COFOUNDERS OFHUFFINGTON POST IN 2005.

WHAT YOU'VE GOT IS THE FUTURE OFNEWS AGREE OR DISAGREE?

>> WE'RE A NEWS ANDENTERTAINMENT COMPANY.

WE'RE INVESTING HEAVILY IN NEWS.

WE JUST DID OUR FIRST REPORTINGFROM SYRIA WE HAVE PEOPLE IN

KIEV COVERING THE PROTEST THEREAND WE ARE STARTING AN

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM TEAM BYPULITZER PRIZE WINNING

JOURNALISTS THAT START INJANUARY.

WE'RE BUILDING UP.

>> Stephen: OKAY, BUT WHYWOULD YOU DO THAT?

WHY WOULD YOU POLLUTE YOUR BRANDWITH JOURNALISM?

(LAUGHTER)YOU DON'T SEE DANCING WITH THE

STARS CUTTING OUT OF THEIR SHOWTO REPORT ON CHICAGO GUN

VIOLENCE.

YOU'VE GOTTEN A INCREDIBLYEASY-TO-DIGEST SITE.

PEOPLE CALL YOUR SITE FULL OFCLICK BAIT.

IS THAT AN INSULT TO YOU?

I THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE IT ASBADGE OF HONOR.

>> WE DON'T CARE ABOUT WHAT THEYCLICK, WE CARE ABOUT WHAT THEY

SHARE.

THE BEST VIRAL MARKETINGSTRATEGY IS UNDERSTANDING THE

HUMAN HEAD AND HEART.

IF YOU MAKE THINGS THAT PEOPLEWANT TO TALK ABOUT WITH THEIR

FRIENDS YOU'LL HAVE SUCCESS.

>> Stephen: HOW OFTEN DOPEOPLE WANT TO FIND OUT ABOUT

ATROCITIES IN SYRIA AND HOWOFTEN DO THEY WANT TO SEE THE 15

SEXIEST PANDAS?

(LAUGHTER)>> IT DEPENDS HOW SEXY THE

PANDAS ARE.

>> Stephen: OR SEXY OTTERS ORWHATEVER IT IS.

>> OR HOW BAD THE ATROCITIESARE, ALSO.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

SEXY ATROCITIES.

OR SEXY PANDAS ACTING OUT SYRIANATROCITIES.

I JUST GOT YOUR NEXT CLICK BAIT,MY FRIEND.

FRIEND.

>> YOUR TALENTS ARE WASTED HERE.

YOU SHOULD START POSTING FOR US.

>> Stephen: SO MANY PEOPLE ARECOPYING YOU NOW.

IS IT GOING TO BE ONLY A MATTEROF TIME BEFORE THE "NEW YORK

TIMES" IS BUZZFEEDING THEIR OWNSITE?

>> PEOPLE HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIROWN PATH.

>> Stephen: THEIR BATH ISRIGHT INTO BANKRUPTCY.

WHAT IS -- THEY'RE FIRINGPEOPLE.

YOU'RE HIRING PEOPLE.

WHAT PATH WOULD YOU RECOMMENDPEOPLE TAKE?

>> IT'S HARD TO COPY SOMEONEELSE.

>> Stephen: NO, IT'S VERY,VERY, VERY EASY.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, IT'S NOTONLY A SINCERE FORM OF FLATTERY

BUT AN EXCELLENT WAY TO MAKEMONEY.

SEE, LIKE NETWORK TELEVISION.

THEY JUST COPY EACH OTHER.

>> IT'S MORE COMPLICATED WHATWE'RE DOING.

YOU HAVE TECHNOLOGY, YOU HAVETHE CULTURE OF THE COMPANY.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS THECULTURE OF BUZZFEED?

FIVE WORDS OR LESS?

WHAT'S YOUR CULTURE?

>> PLAYFUL, EXPERIMENTAL, IT'SLEARNING FROM DATA, BUT IT'S

ALSO BUILDING INTUITION.

>> Stephen: THAT'S 10.

LEARNING FROM DATA, BUILDINGINTUITION GETS YOU UP TO 10.

(LAUGHTER)ARE YOU A JOURNALIST?

>> I DIDN'T COME FROM AJOURNALISM BACKGROUND, I CAME

FROM A TECHNOLOGY BACKGROUND.

THAT IS WHY I HIRED BEN SMITH ASOUR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF TO LEAD OUR

JOURNALISM.

>> Stephen: BEN SMITH USED TOBE AT POLITICO.

>> HE DID, YES.

>> Stephen: WHY LEAVE POLITICOTO COME WORK FOR YOU GUYS?

IS IT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO WORKFOR A SITE THAT HAD LESS GOSSIP?

(LAUGHTER)>> HE WANTED TO BUILD SOMETHING

NEW.

HE WAS ONE OF THE -- HE WAS PARTOF THE TEAM THAT REALLY BUILT

POLITICO AND I THINK HE WASEXCITED ABOUT -- HE SAW THE WAY

THE WEB WAS SHIFTING TOWARDSSOCIAL AND HE WANTED TO BUILD

SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT ANDWE ALL BELIEVE WE CAN BUILD A

BIG MEDIA COMPANY THAT -- FORTHE WAY PEOPLE CONSUME MEDIA

TODAY-- MOBILE AND SOCIAL BEINGTHE DOMINANT THINGS PEOPLE USE

TO CONSUME THEIR MEDIA.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S A LISTICLE?

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LIST OF THETOP TWO TESTICLES IN MY SCROTUM.

WHAT IS A LISTICLE?

>> WE'LL HAVE THAT ON THE SITETOMORROW, I'M SURE.

THE -- A LISTICLE IS JUST ALIST.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WERE ALIST.

>> Stephen: REALLY.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IS ALISTICLE?

>> THE BILL OF RIGHTS.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S THEDIFFERENT BETWEEN A LISTICLE AND

A LIST THEN.

>> LIST IS A BETTER WORD.

WE DIDN'T SAY LISTICLE, OTHERPEOPLE SAID THAT.

>> Stephen: YOU GO WITH THAT.

>> WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

EVERYONE SAYS IT.

>> Stephen: STAND YOUR GROUND.

(LAUGHTER)50 YEARS FROM NOW IS EVERYTHING

GOING TO BE BUZZFEED?

ARE WE GOING TO LOOK BACK AT --ARE PEOPLE GOING TO REFER TO

BUZZFEED AS THE -- YOU KNOW, THEOLD GRAY LADY?

THE LISTICLE OF RECORD?

(LAUGHTER)>> IT'S A VERY DYNAMIC TIME IN

THE MEDIA INDUSTRY.

SO MANY THINGS ARE CHANGING SORAPIDLY RIGHT NOW.

>> Stephen: BY "DYNAMIC" YOUMEAN CLUSTER (BLEEP), RIGHT?

(LAUGHTER)PEOPLE JUST -- MEDIA JUST BEING

THROWN ON THE DEATH WAGON AS ITRATTLES THROUGH TOWN?

>> IT'S A CHALLENGING TIME FORPRINT MEDIA AND THERE'S A LOT OF

EXCITING NEW COMPANIES FORMINGAND IT'S HARD TO SAY WHAT WILL

HAPPEN TEN YEARS, 50 YEARS OUT,BUT WE NEED TO CONTINUALLY

CHANGE WHAT WE DO.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU GOING TOGET ANY OF THOSE GOOGLE ROBOTS?

>> THEY CAN DELIVER THENEWSPAPER, I GUESS.

>> Stephen: THEY COULD GO GETTHE NEWS.

YOU COULD -- YOU COULD GETROBOTS TO FORCE PEOPLE TO DO

THINGS THAT ARE NEWSWORTHY.

(LAUGHTER)HMM?

>> THAT'S A GOOD IDEA.

YEAH.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT, WELLTHANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING

ME.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: JONAH PERETTI.

BUZZFEED.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)GO CLICK ON IT.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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