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Visitors to Buzzfeed, a website known for tracking the latest viral news and pop culture trends, may have noticed that its latest "list articles" have been getting increasingly...esoteric.
- The CBC Community Team can confirm that Stone Cold Steve Austin is not, indeed, a regular feature of an Everything Bagel. But what on earth prompted these unusual, inane articles?The source was actually a blog post by Jory John on humour website Timothy McSweeny's Internet Tendency, called Suggested Buzzfeed Articles. A quick perusal of the list, posted on Tuesday, reveals many of the articles recently posted on Buzzfeed proper came from John's list of suggestions.
- Buzzfeed took notice of John's article, and figured they might as well run with it.
- Thus readers were treated to 50 photos of U.S. President Bill Clinton's forehead...
- Whether readers enjoyed the Suggested Buzzfeed Lists seems entirely dependent on whether they got the joke.
- Stone Cold Bagels and Peach Sajaks aside, Buzzfeed is well known online for its list articles that often aggregate several posts and discussion topics from other sites on the internet. In June, Slate's Farhad Manjoo posted an analysis and critique of Buzzfeed's "21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity" list.
- Manjoo noted that many of the photos appeared earlier on two separate pages at NedHardy.com, without giving credit to that blog post. Many of these lists, he surmised, were seeded by short posts on discussion forums such as Reddit, then added to by looking for similarly titled articles and photos on the internet.
"At that point it becomes obvious how this post came about. Step 1: A BuzzFeed editor noticed a “one job” post on Reddit. Step 2: He searched for the phrase there. Step 3: He found a lot more images. Step 4: He scooped them all up for his own post."
John's article could be seen as the humorous critique of Buzzfeed's copious list articles. But Buzzfeed's own response highlights the uniquely reflexive and meta nature of internet culture.
Which of Jory John's suggested Buzzfeed articles do you want to see next? (Our fingers are crossed for The World’s 13 Laziest Salmon.)