SJ Velasquez, the Multimedia Content Coordinator at Buffalo.com, came in to talk to us on Monday. She was a great speaker and seemed very interested in what she was talking about.
The first thing SJ talked about was voice and how a writer’s voice can and should change depending on what website he or she is writing for. She gave us examples of different websites with completely different voices. For example, on buffalonews.com, writers are striving to be informative and very trustworthy. Therefore, the voice is extremely straightforward and uses a serious tone. On the other hand, her website (buffalo.com) is completely different. This site focuses on attracting a younger crowd and rather than just being a news site, it has a strong emphasis on entertainment and events. For that reason, buffalo.com has a much more fun and laid-back atmosphere (as evidenced in their homepage with monsters all over it).
SJ went on to give us examples of things that attract readers online and things that make articles more interesting. She mentioned things like the use of links with in the story and embedding videos in on the page. By doing these things, readers are able to interact on your site rather than just read, which can be boring.
One of the most interesting parts of the presentation was the Irish-dancing flash mob in Australia that SJ showed us. What was particularly interesting about it was the fact that it was created rather easily. Despite the fact that the video had rather good production values, the cameras were not all too high-tech and expensive and someone did the editing with just basic knowledge on how to edit video clips. Nonetheless, the video had over a million views online and had many comments. I found it fascinating that even with so little resources, a video could get so much attention. One of the reasons the video had so many views, according to SJ, was because of good search engine optimization. By having good keywords and many links to it, the video could be found by millions with little struggle, whether they were looking for it or not.
The final thing SJ discussed was websites such as Read-it and BuzzFeed that put out stories and videos that usually become viral. It was interesting that I, like most others in the class, had never heard of most of the sites that SJ talked about. As SJ talked about BuzzFeed, I couldn’t help to wonder whether the sites simply predicted what stories and videos would become viral, or if the videos and stories became viral because of the websites. Nonetheless, I learned the importance of sites that distribute content for others to see and how important it is to be on these sites as a someone who runs or manages their own blog or website.