The 7 Secrets of Bacterial Publishing: Get Streppy With It

The success of Buzzfeed has sent digital magazine publishers (and everyone else who “strategizes” about “digital content”) into a right tizzy lately.

And rightly so!

Buzzfeed is the single most important content farm in the universe. It has simultaneously raised AND lowered the bar, like a magician who’s trying to confuse you.

The awe reserved by content mongers for the disease-farm that is Buzzfeed is truly spectacular, if you also like watching youtube videos of hypnosis subjects. Or if you’re into date rape.

“It’s really amazing what we’ve done.”

“They just lie there.”

“We’ve really figured out the equation.”

“Once they’re out, you can do anything.”

So it’s time for magazines to get really nasty viral.

Go Buzzfeed one better!

Just google “strep throat pictures” if you want to know what I mean. Your content should replicate itself across the web like those big puffy white patches, blotches of pus-colored throat tissue: smatterings of red dots indicating expansion into new throat “vortals” of content.

Get streppy with it!

To be a scrappy strepper, you need to shorten your articles. They should feature celebrities if possible. If not, literally make them about diseases instead.

Prediction: bacterial is the new viral.

A good experiment would be articles that are actually about strep throat — bacteria that spreads like a virus!

There’s nothing like a scary strep throat headline with a graphic image of the heroic germ colonizing a tender young epiglottis to get the masses clicking through and sharing. If you try it, you’ll see how the basic bacterial content process works, and then you can apply it to all of your content.

Keep all paragraphs this short!

If you’re in doubt about the content of your content, fire all your writers and hire new ones at lower rates. As an example of how low writers will go for a gig, here’s my recent conversation on a ghostwriting gig I found on freelancer.com:

Maybe you’re a typical web dev or brogrammer, in which case you’ve maybe never had to write 400 words of English except back in college, or that reddit rant you posted, or the latest Medium article you mostly plagiarized.

First off, you’re going to get hired anyway, don’t worry! Second, I’ll tell you that it takes time to write 400 words. Especially in polished, grammatical sentences. Multiply that time by 26. Since you’re most likely well-educated in math if you read @Medium, do the rest yourself in your node console (spoiler: it’s a piss-poor hourly).

Anyway — I would never take that gig because I also know web dev and could impersonate a brogrammer if I needed to. But most writers will get offered less than that for more words, and many of them will take the work when they can get it. Take advantage of this! Srsly d00d! If you’re a magazine publisher or, better yet, a quantreprenuer who wants to make bank exploiting droves of recent English majors, just think about generating 200+ short, streppy articles daily, for cheaper than your hosting on AWS!

Hire interns when you can — hot ones who don’t know the appropriate way to dress in an office. Economize on your hardware. Encourage folks to use mac minis whenever possible, instead of issuing fancy laptops. If you outsource your whole IT operation, this will be easy to accomplish. Of course, you have to have Macs, because … well, status, and you’re a publisher, but be sure to get the low-end minis or maybe older computers like that piece-of-shit cube Apple put out ages ago. You can get those for a song on craigslist, I hear.

We’re headed into a beautiful, bacterial horizon, content mongers! And audiences: get ready for a wild, slippery ride — we’ll be hockey-sticking you into the disease-ridden annals of future history!

Written by

Tech and dirt, philosophy/fabrication. From the midwest, where pastoral/dirt mixes with academic/tech, and interesting things emerge. Based in NYC.

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