Friday Buzz: Keep Your Composure
One editor's approach to election night offers a "voice of reason" to a very emotional campaign cycle. Also: YouTube gets serious about comment moderation.
We’re near the finish line of the 2016 election—perhaps one of the most emotional and challenging election cycles in modern U.S. history.
Trying to stay above the fray when all that emotion is out there is hard. It’s even harder if your organization is BuzzFeed, and your reputation is at stake due to your role of calling the election.
Which is why the latest piece from Ben Smith, BuzzFeed‘s editor-in-chief, is refreshing—because it transparently highlights the challenges that the news outlet faces as it works to announce the results of different races.
The real treat of the piece, however, is near the end. After laying out the website’s strategy, Smith offers this calm, collected point about the importance of trust:
At the root of all these decisions is trust. We’re a new media outlet, born in this swarming, chaotic, and polarized new ecosystem. We don’t believe that our audience is going to trust a news outlet because they’ve got dramatic music, great graphics, or great hair. (Our staff will also have great hair, btw.) We hope you’ll trust us, instead, because our wizards don’t hide behind the curtain — because we aren’t pretending we have any secrets, just dozens of smart, experienced journalists and analysts working hard and who are utterly open to what our friends and rivals in the rest of the media conversation have to say.
In the midst of a highly contentious political sphere, BuzzFeed’s honest, open-minded approach feels like a path forward for both groups and leaders that don’t want to get caught in the muck.
Staying calm, composed, and transparent in this fashion could be just the way to keep your head above water this Election Day.
Moderation Tools of the Day
YouTube’s comments sections are famously considered one of the lowest places on the entire internet, but the Google-owned video network is working on it. On Thursday, the firm announced new moderation tools: The ability to pin comments, a tool to allow creators to “heart” comments they like, and a new highlight tool designed to make creator comments pop out.
“We realize that comments play a key role in growing this connection and we’re dedicated to making your conversations with your community easier and more personal,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Other Links of Note
LinkedIn, fresh off of its purchase by Microsoft, is slowly changing. Frank J. Kenny’s blog highlights a few changes to the platform that are noteworthy to chambers of commerce.
Being a manager and going on paternal leave can be a challenging endeavor. Over at Inc., Leila Lewis of Be Inspired PR—who has dealt with that very situation—has a few tips for managing it.
Feel like you’re running out of ideas? Amanda Kaiser of Smooth the Path has been there, and writing as often as she does, it sometimes doesn’t come easy. Check her latest to see how she bounces back.