There's no other time in history I envy compared with the present. "Mass communication" has finally become more practice than product, and the confrontation between those who once directed the mainstream and those disserved by it has never been more possible.
The public sphere now means a larger, more empowered public, and no new venture will survive without appreciating that fact. I'm proud to helm a project that isn't suspicious of this shift. The social web is a population, not a platform. And it's a responsibility toward this population that inspired the launch of BuzzFeed Ideas.
BuzzFeed Ideas is for readers. It's for a culture no longer invested in diluting topics for the comfort, and from the perspective, of the few. From the economics of desirability in a sitcom, to pop-culture figures as avatars for social fears, to memes as an analogue for saints, there are no neutral subjects and no accidental phenomena.
The category of writing broadly referred to as criticism was once just how a select few determined canon. It's now a genre revitalized by a cultural shift toward conversation. And the angle with the most longevity on any topic is always the one that aims beyond the last word. That's the difference between Ideas and the next cycle of think pieces: a valuation of inquiry that builds — not just reacts.
Ideas is informed by the same impulse that has always driven readers and writers together, a desire to be known. We're here to trigger the empathies we have the least practice in. We're here to offer essays and articles that don't mistake distance for objectivity. We're here to laugh at the fear of a PC police. We're here to write for cultural discourse at its best — rooted in real voices and real commitments.