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Social Publishing is a Paris Cafe

Posted by Jon Steinberg on May 7th, 2012 at 6:47 am

[Originally posted on Jonsteinberg.com]

Imagine you are sitting at a street cafe in Paris. You have a copy of Sartre's Being and Nothingness, a copy of Le Monde, the newspaper, and next to you, as is often the case in Paris, is a cute dog.
You read philosophy, you read the news, you pet the dog.
You don't become stupid when you are petting the dog,
You are just being human!
And when you read the philosophy you are still worldly.
And when you read the paper you are still intellectual.
You talk to your friends at the cafe: sometimes about the dog, sometimes about philosophy, sometimes about the news, and, yes, sometimes about what you are eating for breakfast.
Humans are complex and have emotional needs, intellectual needs, social needs...
- Jonah Peretti, May 4, 2012

We are multi-faceted and the social newsfeed embraces that rather than shuns it.  The cafe Jonah describes is every day on the social web.  That intermingling is an essential element of social publishing and social advertising. It's why the BuzzFeed front page has a a mix of stories like 33 Animals Who are Disappointed in You (the cute dog), a thought piece from John Herrman on Internets service TOS's (the Sartre),  and a hard hitting investigative piece by Michael Hastings on Obama's campaign team (Le Monde).  The sharing and commenting on Twitter and Facebook- that's the conversation at the cafe.

It's why BuzzFeed can tangle with the White House, on the same day as having the great memey post 23 Reasons Why May Is Going To Be The Best Month Ever.  We think people want a mix of all different types of social content, and we think an intermingling, organized by social, is what makes the most sense in today's world.  And the Facebook newsfeed and the Twitter feed, prove that in the social era you consume content like you sit at the Paris Cafe.

We no longer Google for news in the morning, head to a portal, or even pick up a newspaper in front of a door. We head to Facebook and Twitter to connect with our family, friends, and co-workers, just like we check our email. Social is the new starting point, and a place we've arrived at after Portals and Search.  Because of social, we consume what is shared with us, and it's organized by people and emotion, and there are no rigid content category lines. It's in many ways a freer and more natural way.  It's why we social publish: Animals, Politics, Internet culture, Women's Lifestyle, Technology, and memes all in one Paris cafe.

The newsfeed changes everything - it's multifaceted, social, and fast - and that's why social publishing is so different from traditional publishing.  In fact, it resembles the Paris cafe more than it does the newspapers we grew up with.

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