Our lives are crammed full of content. In an age with such a deluge, what makes certain types of content spread? BuzzFeed, a media company founded by Jonah Peretti, has truly mastered the art of shareable content. In On! The Future of Now, Jonah Peretti shares his story leading up to BuzzFeed, including his time as an Eyebeam fellow where he spent time experimenting with digital content and learning what made something go viral. In his chapter, Jonah is interviewed by current Eyebeam fellow Elisa Kreisinger, where they discuss art, pop culture and what drives people to share.
Jonah discusses how having time to explore and try different ideas without knowing how it would fit into his career trajectory was critical to the way he approaches BuzzFeed. He explains that BuzzFeed is a large scale experiment testing what makes the internet tick and what causes content to gain traction. To conclude the interview, Elissa and Jonah dissect pop culture and how identity-based sharing is turning the media into a tool for understanding and empathy. Jonah explains, “You see people’s identities being an anchor for sharing, but they’re sharing with other people that can learn from their experiences.”
*This post is part of a series highlighting personal stories and key themes from our new book, On! The Future of Now. Order your copy of On! The Future of now here. Proceeds to support Charity: Water.
About Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti is Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, a media company that provides a pioneering mix of breaking news, entertainment, and shareable content.
About Elisa Kreisinger
Elisa Kreisinger is a Brooklyn-based video artist whose work includes remixing pop culture. Learn more about Elisa here.
About On! The Future of Now
Published in partnership with Nokia and curated by Toby Daniels and Craig Hepburn, On! The Future of Now is a collection of essays and personal stories from leading thinkers, including best-selling author and entrepreneur Seth Godin; Cindy Gallop, founder of Make Love Not Porn; Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of BuzzFeed and Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit. On! The Future of Now is available in eBook and paperback. To buy the book and support Charity: Water, click here.