#perettichat | Fireside liveblogging with Jonah Peretti, co-founder of BuzzFeed

8:49 PM (EDT) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand over to Twitter! @KathrynDill

8:46 PM (EDT) Peretti taking questions!  What should we ask?

8:39 PM (EDT) “Tech-enabled.”  Peretti talks about being a media company that hums just as well as Silicon Valley giants, highlights outfits like Warby Parker, a fashion company, but tech-enabled.

On Bloomberg: “It’s possible to build a tech company in New York with really great snacks.”

8:32 PM (EDT) Peretti says banner ads will soon be a thing of the past and that sponsored posts are the way of the future.

Advertising, reporting, and entertainment are all important–you have to love them to do them well, and treat them each like they’re important.

“Make great advertising, do great reporting, and make great sharable stuff–if you do those things everything else will fall into place.”

8:27 PM (EDT) My computer is about to die–even amidst all this entrepreneurial spirit!  When it gives out I’ll be heading over to @kathryndill on Twitter.  Stay tuned!

8:25 PM (EDT) Peretti talks about what led to starting BuzzFeed.

“When you do a good job in business, you get more resources,” says Peretti, whereas in non-profits, “it’s like, ‘Oh I had a success! Now I have no resources again.’”

On bringing a more non-partisan feel to BuzzFeed than was found at HuffPo:

“Ben just wants to find out stuff people don’t know and tell the public about it.”

8:20 PM (EDT) Peretti talks metrics in terms of Jews and Mormons (hint: Mormons are on the rise.)

“Mormons are good at both practicing their religion and spreading their religion; it’s something that startup folks need to think about too.”

“There’s a certain tendency to get in your own head and think about your own idea and not think about how it spreads and why it spreads.”

8:17 PM (EDT) Peretti talks about BuzzFeed as a more positive, lower-snark, web environment.  This is their homepage right now:

8:12 PM (EDT) “We’re all teenage girls, a little bit,” says Peretti, on the appeal of a site where you can look at the next new thing, as well as remember the younger Justin Timberlake.

8:10 PM (EDT) “There’s competition for good people.”

“Part of it is how much you pay them and part of it is what kind of environment you create.”

Peretti talks journalism salaries–without talking numbers.

8:08 PM (EDT) Listening to Jonah Peretti makes me want to live inside BuzzFeed.

8:05 PM (EDT) “They generate traffic without thinking about traffic.”  Peretti on the unique position of journalists working at BuzzFeed.

“We have to credit the site with the kitten videos and the inspiring moments?” -Peretti, on CNN, crediting BuzzFeed’s scoop on the McCain Romney endorsement.

8:01 PM (EDT) “Social was maturing, and we needed to mature with it,” says Peretti about hiring Politico’s Ben Smith.

He says BuzzFeed attracts reporters by telling them they can write stories–other people will make the slideshows.

7:59 PM (EDT)  “The site initially was about emotion. Now it’s about information.  We created the overlap between emotion and information.”

7:56 PM (EDT) How will a reporter feel if he spends six months reporting something and it doesn’t get nearly as many views as a cat video?

“It’s like a round of applause, like ‘Wow, that’s what journalism should be about.’”

Peretti likens BuzzFeed to a Paris cafe.  You’re reading philosophy, you’re petting a dog, you’re flirting–none of it takes away from the rest of it because people like to learn as well as laughing and gossiping.  “It makes you human.”

7:52 PM (EDT) “Make great stuff.” Peretti says if you’re into something, do it.

7:51 PM (EDT)


7:45 PM (EDT) Sarah Lacy tells us “Lady Gaga Pantsless in Paris” is the most optimized headline, though it has no particular resonance with TechCrunch readers.

Peretti responds, “I bet they’d click it though.” (…says the man who created BuzzFeed).

7:41 PM (EDT) Techies and cool glasses.  Something else that went viral.

7:36 PM (EDT) “Was Arianna ever in sweatpants?” Sarah Lacy asks Peretti about the culture of startups.

“Things would grow really quickly and crash,” says Peretti about things that go viral.  In the early 2000s it might be up for a four or five months, now something can cycle in 48 hours.  He started thinking about creating a site where new things would always be rising and falling, and people could go to one place to find them.

7:31 PM (EDT) “We all like to do big things and go after things and try to push things further.  That general impulse went throughout the company.” Peretti talks about the joys of collaborating boldly–as well as going off alone to do what you do best.

7:30 PM (EDT) “She knows everyone in the universe. What if those people were online?” Peretti talks about Arianna’s world and the genesis of the Huffington Post.

7:24 PM (EDT) Can you explain it in one sentence? It could be a great idea.  Peretti explains how his early internet projects generated buzz and eventually, the concept of viral.

7:20 PM (EDT) Remember when college student Peretti had to debate Nike’s head of Global PR on “The Today Show” about sweatshops while a college-aged Cameron Marlow organized his MP3s?

7:18 PM (EDT) Peretti reminds us about tech life in the early aughts: “No one was trying to make something go viral.”

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