Last night, during the Mad Men season premiere, New York magazine published the definitive account of internet animal-photography-distribution platform Buzzfeed. Here are some of the coolest things we learned about Jonah Peretti's awesome advertorial platform:
1. "The rush of creating something viral was vertiginous, intoxicating."
2. "Like a joyful scourge, Peretti is simultaneously fanning the flames that are disrupting the old media business model and promising that he has constructed a new, lucrative one."
3. "Thin and angular as a whippet, Peretti was dressed in a Power Nerd ensemble: collared shirt, beige sweater, square glasses."
4. "[Peretti], by contrast, doesn't care whether a post is produced by a journalist or sponsored by a brand, so long as it travels. He's a semiotic Darwinist: He believes in messages that reproduce."
5. "…Peretti had a genius for propagation."
6. "Memes are easy to make, but virality depends on novelty, cleverness, and luck, all of which thwarts the duplicative craft of advertising."
7. "Watt's calculus looks like this: n = pN (1+ R+ R2+ R3 +K) = pN/(1– R)."
8. "Social networks, with their unforgiving chorus of voices, can be dangerous places for brands-as Peretti knows from experience, viral stunts can backfire."
9. "Peretti usually presents a cheerful exterior, but that kind of talk inflames his ego. 'Could you make a list of cute animals that gets 5 million views?' he snapped when I mentioned Graf's comment that night at the bar. 'It's actually really hard.'"
10. "Peretti complains about 'obstructionist agencies,' and when he looks at advertising-with its four dominant holding companies, rococo bureaucracies, and reliance on a lucrative television medium now threatened by ad-skipping technologies-he sees an industry ripe for disruption."
[All images from Getty/Bigstockphoto/Wikimedia.]