But let’s not confuse the job of moving mountains with expressing the human condition. Michelangelo famously said:

«In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.»

That’s the really exciting opportunity.  There are stories within the volumes of new data being generated all the time that just need insightful people to reveal them.

Meet Dao Nguyen. She helped BuzzFeed quintuple traffic in two years. The secrets behind how she became one of the most important and beloved BuzzFeeders.

«Do what you can do extremely well. Don’t publish filler.»
«I’m one person with a Twitter account. It’s indicative of a much bigger problem. If I can disrupt your content distribution strategy from my iPhone, then maybe something is wrong with your content distribution strategy.»
— Jake Beckman, who runs the clickbait-crushing Twitter account @SavedYouAClick, after he had been accused of spoiling the experience of a Vox.com longread. (source)

Ask the right questions, get the right metrics.

«Viele Journalisten und Medienmanager versuchen dem Publikum klarzumachen, dass mit seinen Bedürfnissen etwas nicht stimmt. Es geht aber nicht darum, dem Publikum zu erklären, warum das, was wir bisher gemacht haben, unverzichtbar ist. Es geht darum, für das Publikum unverzichtbar zu werden.»
— Michael Fleischhacker, editor in chief of NZZ.at, in the welcome post of the new digital venture.

A memo, not a sea of headlines

Quartz, which had pioneered the no-homepage stream view now seen at various news sites, has moved on to an actual home page. Again, they are trying novel ways to welcome users.

Yes, the homepage is still dead, which is why our new front door is quite different from most. Now, when you come to qz.com, we are offering an efficient briefing on global business news, called the Brief. It’s intended to be read straight through, like a well written memo from a trusted advisor. What it’s not is a sea of headlines, like you find on the homepages of many news sites.

Read the full announcement.

«One of the other things we’ve found from those new innovations is it has made hiring good people easier.»
— Malcolm Coles, general manager of online at Trinity Mirror, reflecting on experiments like UsVsTh3m and Ampp3d.
«Part of understanding that ecosystem means acknowledging that many readers don’t care what outlet their news comes from — they care about getting it quickly. When it comes to breaking news, Smith says, the team working on the app won’t wait for BuzzFeed to publish a story if someone else has a scoop. ‹I don’t think you can do news well if you think that your news organization produces the only content of value. That’s crazy,› Smith says. ‹There’s a humility required in doing news well now. It requires being open to the Internet, and realizing you’re a part of a collaborative project with other news outlets.›»