BuzzFeed has standards?

Screen shot 2014-02-05 at 1.05.48 PM


I think that from now on I’ll just hand this piece out at the start of my editing classes:

I must also caution you from the outset that this course is appallingly, unrelievedly dull. A student from a previous term complained in the course evaluation that “he just did the same thing over and over day after day.” Exactly. So will you. Editing is done word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, and we will go over texts in class, word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence, and paragraph by paragraph. No one will hear you scream.

I’m going to turn my back for a minute so that anyone who wants to bolt can escape.

John E. McIntyre in The Baltimore Sun


Read more:

“Any print or online publication that merits your attention will struggle to produce verified, edited prose, factually sound and as clear as an editor can make it with the tools and time available. It will acknowledge and correct errors. It will be skeptical. It will attempt to look before it leaps. It will value editing, because editing is one of the means by which a publication attempts not to waste your time.”

John E. McIntyre on “The dwindling discipline of skepticism”  

So now I’m “fussy and old-fashioned”? Darn it, I like hyphens, (ironic there was a hyphen in “old-fashioned” there) and cannot condone this willy-nilly abandonment of same. And here’s one reason why: “Skipping hyphens has become a popular branding trend…”

New York Times Updates Stylebook–and Puts Some Hyphens to Rest


Kind of sort of good news?

Let’s hear it for longer (now if only I had time actually to read all the stuff I save to Pocket):

The vast majority of items saved to Pocket are short-form stuff: blog posts, BuzzFeed listicles, quick-hit news items, links gleaned from Twitter, and so on. Eighty-seven percent of Pocket’s saves by volume are things of this nature. The remaining 13% constitutes longform stories–the weighty New Yorker piece, the thoughtful New York Review of Books essay, and so on. But while that 13% constitutes the minority of Pocket content, it’s arguably the soul of what goes on inside Pocket.

“Engagement around articles is heavily weighted towards longer form and higher quality content,” says Weiner. Metrics of “engagement” vary, but include: the likelihood of a user actually opening a piece, how often they open it, whether an item is shared, whether it’s favorited, and whether it was read through to completion or abandoned mid-scroll. Some articles become so vibrant in Pocket that they result in a share almost every time they’re opened; Weiner calls such stories “Pocket-viral.”

via Fast Company