I find this appalling, to be honest. There is nothing wrong with sharing or amplifying work – I hit the reblog button in WordPress much more than I blog (that will change this year). I don’t share for traffic; I share because I find something important and/or compelling. Further, if we spent our time following with gets shared the most, the entire web would be an idiocracy.
Andrew Marantz has a fascinating profile of Emerson Spartz, a 27-year-old who runs Dose.com (formerly Brainwreck.com). For those of us who care about real journalism, it makes for depressing reading:
Spartz thinks that pathbreaking ideas are overvalued. “If you want to build a successful virus, you can start by trying to engineer the DNA from scratch—or, much more efficient, you take a virus that you already know is potent, mutate it a tiny bit, and expose it to a new cluster of people.” Brainwreck’s early posts “leaned more toward originality,” Spartz said—they featured novel combinations of images, with text that reflected at least a few minutes of online research—but with Dose “we’ve stopped doing that as much because more original lists take more time to put together, and we’ve found that people are no more likely to click on them.”
Marantz sees Spartz as something akin to “a day trader, investing in…
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