Buzzkill

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Buzzfeed circles the drain.

Kyle Smith watches it spinning:

Founded in 2006, BuzzFeed is, as of this year, a teenager, and as is true of many teens it has an unrealistic view of its own likely future. BuzzFeed dreams of landing the Disney prince of profitability by dolling itself up in two ways. One is to cut costs. Unload most of the journalists producing the kinds of pieces that could in theory appear in an actual newspaper because this stuff loses money. Dozens of people have been laid off already, with more to come. Yet BuzzFeed is at the same time advertising for “editorial fellows” (journalistic lingo for “low-paid employees”) to apply for jobs. Clear out all those 28-year-olds whose salaries have soared worryingly into the mid-five figures and replace them with 23-year-olds willing to work for Starbucks wages. Hey, being a journalista beats being a barista, right? And as hinted above, it’s not like BuzzFeed has any hangups about the quality of its content. If you can make a latte, you can probably make a listicle.

I knew Buzzfeed, at least as far as “journalism” goes, was going to be a joke when I first heard about it. Know how I knew? Because of the company it kept here in the Twin Cities.

The second part of the BuzzFeed makeover, coming soon, is to grow. BuzzFeed has hinted that it intends to hoover up many other similar sites, all those fourth-rate imitators of a third-rate product that also seek to provide micro-dopamine infusions to cupcake-scarfing arrested-development cubicle prisoners as they daydream of shopping at Forever 21 and wonder if Jafar is kind of hot. If 17 bajillion dollops of extreme-low-quality content delivering 150 gajillion eyeballs doesn’t work, double down! If gigantic scale doesn’t work, activate ludicrous scale!

If Buzzfeed spirals in, one hopes the American people would get smarter.

These days, it’s more likeliy it’d get replaced by something worse…