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BuzzFeed Announces New R+D Arm Called “Open Lab”

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BuzzFeed Announces New R+D Arm Called “Open Lab”

The online juggernaut otherwise known as BuzzFeed announced today their launch of the “BuzzFeed Open Lab for Journalism Technology and the Arts.” This listicle-happy journalism company will host a “competition” to discover tools and technology to advance digital journalism and media. The selected tools and technology will become available to the masses as open-source data.

The company released this statement:

The Open Lab will be our R&D arm that allows us to extend that core value of technology to the rest of the media industry and, more importantly, to the public domain so we can help create new formats, new ideas, and new technologies, all at the service of journalism and media as a whole. And ultimately, in the service of the general public.

This summer, BuzzFeed will solicit proposals from anyone from engineers to artists. Four fellows and one senior fellow will be selected for a one- to two-year stints at the R&D lab. Buzzfeed noted, “We’re looking for both hardware and software proposals, and we’re open to all kinds of cutting edge areas.”

BuzzFeed put together an advisory board to head up the Open Lab, including BuzzFeed’s Publisher, Dao Nguyen, former Wired Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson, and others. BuzzFeed will onboard five fellows to develop projects under the guidance of BuzzFeed’s Bureau Chief Mat Honan. GE and Eyebeam will also sponsor two fellows.

To apply for the Open Lab, submit the following materials to openlabfellowship@buzzfeed.com:

  • Résumé or CV
  • Recent projects that represent your best work
  • Successful product launch examples

Project Proposal, including the following elements: 

  • The specific project you intend to work on, including a schedule
  • How the project can be completed in one year
  • If involving hardware, how the project can scale, including cost estimates
  • Answer: “Why are you qualified and capable of doing work others haven’t or can’t?”
  • Answer: “How is the project consistent with the open source idea of bettering the media industry?”
  • Three letters of recommendation

For more information about the initiative, check out the BuzzFeed blog.

Image credit: BuzzFeed Press

Editor Note: We weren’t paid or perked to cover this initiative. We just thought it was really cool news!

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Allie Freeland

Marketing Communications Consultant at Self-Employed

Allie Gray Freeland is a freelance marketing consultant who specializes in strategy, public relations, and writing. She graduated in 2007 ... [Read full bio]

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