Last Friday I went to a talk at a British Society of Magazine Editors breakfast, given by Luke Lewis, who is the editor of Buzzfeed UK.
It was so fascinating my ears were coming out on stalks to take it all in.
Mr Lewis was amazingly generous with the tips and tricks he shared with us – or more like super confident. Buzzfeed is riding high and it’s likely to stay up there.
One of the things I found most interesting was to hear how they are moving into becoming a serious news gathering source, so not just responding to the big stories broken by trad news media, but finding and making them.
They’ve hired some really serious ex-newspaper journalists from the Sunday Times and the Guardian to do it.
At the end I went to have a chat with him and asked him what the average age of his staff was. As I expected, he said 25.
Considering all my bezzie mates – 50 and up – and friends in their sixties, are always posting Buzzfeed quizzes on Facebook and getting hysterical about them, I suggested he should think about hiring some older people as well. Someone like me.
I’d love to work on Buzzfeed for a few weeks – I see myself as the female version of The Internship. It would be such good fun (and it would make great material for my next book…)
So I thought I’d have a go at doing a Buzzfeed quiz specifically aimed at my generation and older.
Of course it’s harder than you’d think, but mother’s milk to me because I honed my journo skills on women’s magazine doing quizzes along the lines of:
Does he just like you – or does he LIKE you?
Mostly As: He thinks you’re great. One of the guys. Fun. But he’s never thought of you as a possible girlfriend and it would probably be impossible to get him to change his mind set now. All those late night boozy chats, you’ve been a little too frank with him… he likes a woman with a bit of mystery (so you wouldn’t really want to go out with him anyway, would you?)
Mostly Bs: He thinks of you as a friend, but he hasn’t entirely forgotten you are also of the opposite sex. He doesn’t think you’re interested in him, so he’s happy to let things bump along as they are – but it wouldn’t take much to make him see you as serious date potential.
And so on.
One of the things I really love about Buzzfeed is that it joyfully includes all the things we weren’t allowed to say in magazines in the 1980s. I would love to have added ‘that time you drank all the tequila and ended up lighting your farts didn’t exactly help…’ in Mostly As, for example, but it was unthinkable then. That would so play on Buzzfeed.
So I really loved putting this quiz together, because it’s a much more rounded creative process than those old skool ones, because first you have to decide how you’re going to frame your content (I’ve studied the different forms on the site at great length…ahem, I SO DON’T WANT ROSS, I WANT JOEY), then you write it and then you get to choose the pics, which is great fun.
So here is my first Buzzfeed quiz.
WHICH SONG WOULD JONI MITCHELL HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT YOU? (Or your last bonehead of a boyfriend.)
What are you drinking?
What do you drive?
What shoes are you wearing?
How did you dump your last girlfriend?
Have you got the time?
What are you reading?
If this really was Buzzfeed this is the point where you’d click and find out you were Miranda (I got Carrie HA HA). I don’t have that programming, so I’ve revisited the tried and true ‘Mostly As’ format.
The Last Time I Saw Richard
It will always be 1987 to you.
My Old Man
You’re a soppy old hippy, but it’s hard not to love you.
Car on the Hill
Man about town. Cocksman. Toxic bachelor. Asshole. (Please call… please call…)
Williamsburg Morning. Dalston Morning. Clapton Morning. Hastings Morning.
Shame you had those last five hundred Es… You were fine up until then.
The Hissing of Summer Lawns