Buzzfeed have been doing a lot of thinking (and doing) in public this week.
Laura E. Davis, from Buzzfeeds News app team has been writing on Medium about how to find the right tone when delivering news that also has to compete with all the other information delivered to a user through their apps.
‘When you’re a guest in someone’s home, you play by the host’s rules. For many years, news organizations did the hosting. Picking up a newspaper, tuning in to a news show, typing in an address to a homepage — all these actions mean readers are leaving their world and entering a space that they don’t control. But these days, the power dynamic has shifted. Readers have more control over how they get information, and news organizations have largely become guests — invited into their readers’ Twitter streams, Facebook News Feeds and onto their smartphones. When I was running news organizations’ social media accounts, I learned how to be a polite guest. Now, I’m using those skills to help build the BuzzFeed News app’.
Buzzfeed have also been prototyping a new newsletter, and testing it out with an audience as they work on it.
‘First, we identified who we believed our audience would be and figured out how best to reach them. Since our presumed audience were not necessarily news junkies, we turned to Facebook to ask our friends, especially those not working in media and who probably weren’t on Twitter all day, for their opinions. This is an important part of the “public” part of our prototyping process because we needed to mimic our ‘real’ readers as much as we could. Because while internal feedback groups are useful and sometimes less scary than going public — in the end, we, the BuzzFeed News team, were not our users’.