As NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen likes to say, you can tell a lot about people and their views on media based on what they say about BuzzFeed. And one of the things that critics often focus on is how much of the site is devoted to listicles or quizzes or other ephemeral content (as though newspapers don’t devote a lot of their space to similar pursuits, such as sudoku or crossword puzzles, and the comic section).
As a new report published by the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University points out, however, there is a serious purpose to much of this game-playing by BuzzFeed that more media companies could learn from. It’s about more than just driving traffic, as some of the site’s critics seem to suggest — it’s about encouraging an atmosphere of experimentation, and then learning from what works.
Gamification of the news
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