OLD Media Moves

In defense of Business Insider’s slideshows

November 29, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Mathew Ingram of GigaOm writes about how Business Insider balances its content between what readers what and what readers need.

Ingram writes, “And how could one not make fun of a slideshow like the one Blodget himself did of his otherwise totally ordinary economy-class airplane flight earlier this year, complete with photos of his knees and a breakdown of the various elements of his dinner? The jokes write themselves. One writer said Blodget should be ‘denied access to a keyboard for the rest of his life.’

“Blodget, however — in addition to arguing that digital media requires new formats and methods of storytelling because it is a fundamentally new medium — points out that slideshows like his and the more recent one from writer Nicholas Carlson (who detailed a trip to China with more than 75 slides) are also a big hit with readers. Blodget’s post got more than 1.4 million pageviews, and Carlson’s has racked up more than 3.5 million at last count.

“McKenzie argues that Business Insider is trading credibility for pageviews in a cynical attempt to trick readers and sell them out to advertisers. As he puts it:

‘These slideshows are not wondrous experiments carried out in the name of pleasing readers and advancing the cause of native digital storytelling. They are economic decisions through which Business Insider is attempting to inflate its pageviews and create ever more excuses for the generation of ad impressions. Let’s be clear: this is Business Insider gaming the system.'”

Read more here.

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