21 Jonah Peretti Quotes That Will Restore Your Faith in Buzzfeed
Last night, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post cofounder Jonah Peretti sat down with Pando's Sarah Lacy to talk virality, humans vs. robots, and why deep down we're all just teenage girls. Here are 21 of his best quotes:.
1. On viral content: "You can explain it in one sentence and get a little bit of a laugh in one sentence.”
2. On animal pictures: "In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, one of the tests of whether someone's an android or a human, is they see if they have empathy for animals, and that's happening a billion times a day on Facebook. People see animals, and some of us are human and click the 'like' button."
3. On snark: "Hate is a good way to build a community... among a small group.”
4. On Nick Denton: "I remember teasing Nick [Denton, a Brit] a while back about how negative the site is and saying, ‘We don’t have all this class resentment and swiping at all the frauds who are running everything in the US – that’s more a British thing.”
5. On his own attitude: “I tend to be a more positive person.”
6. On targeted content: "You don't want everyone to see a piece of content. You want the people who are really excited about the content to see it."
7. On why people come to Buzzfeed: "You're coming to Buzzfeed's homepage not for yourself, but to find something to share with someone else."
8. On New York vs. Silicon Valley tech scenes: "It is possible to build a tech company in New York that has really good snacks."
9. On building Huffington Post: "There was an appeal in making a site that would help a democrat get elected president."
10. On Mormons: "In media or in tech companies, there's this natural tendency to spend all the time thinking about your idea and not spending time thinking about how to spread the idea. And so Mormons are good at both practicing the religion and spreading the religion, and I think that's something that startups folks have to think about a lot too.
11. On the death of SEO: “What’s so exciting to me now is that as Facebook and Twitter and StumbleUpon and Reddit and these social platforms become more mature, you can start to create content for humans, not for robots, and still have massive traffic.”
12. On the weaknesses of search engines: "Google can't find scoops because there's no cluster around it yet."
13. On making something go viral: "There are no tricks."
14. On audiences: "We're all teenage girls a little bit."
15. On the paradox of snarky celebrity blogs: "We hate the celebrity at the party... but I was at a party with a celebrity!"
16. On Gawker vs. Buzzfeed: "I see it more as kind of an indie rock mentality. 'My band is good and all the other bands suck,' and that builds a close feeling. Contrast indie rock to hip-hop where it's like, 'You don't sell out, you blow up.'"
17. On the competition in the early days of Drudge Report and The Huffington Post: "When there's a Coke, there's always room for a Pepsi."
18. On perspective: "Did you know that the Stegosaurus lived further away from the Tyrannosaurus Rex than we are from the Tyrannosaurus Rex in time?"
19. On how investigative journalism and memes coexist: "We don't see them as mutually exclusive. We just think that humans are complex people that like to laugh sometimes, that like to gossip sometimes, that like to know what’s going on in the world.”
20. And this: "You can say, 'My site will only publish serious stuff,' but the New York Times is going to be right in that (Facebook) news feed next to the cute kittens, and that's where people are going to see it. They're gonna all be mashed together. So our thesis is, why don't we do that at the source, as the publisher."
21, In closing: "Sometimes we use this metaphor of the Paris cafe. You go to a cafe and you have a copy of Sartre you have a copy of Le Monde and you're reading your philosophy and you're reading the news of the day. And then, if you'ev ever been to Paris you'll see there's always a dog under the next table, so you bend over to pet the dog. When you turn away from the philosophy and pet the dog, you don't become stupid. When you flirt with the person at the next table, it doesn't mean you can't understand the philosophy anymore. It just makes you human."