In a piece titled “The Virologist,” Andrew Marantz profiles 27-year-old “Internet-media entrepreneur” Emerson Spartz (right) for this week’s New Yorker. Spartz’s specialty is making things go viral; “I’m passionate about virality,” he tells Marantz, adding that “I’m really, really good at writing headlines.” (Check them out at his main site, Dose.com.)
Some lines from “The Virologist”:
* Spartz built the world’s most popular Harry Potter fan site, MuggleNet, when he was 12.
* He “has been successfully launching websites for more than half his life. In Chicago’s small startup subculture, he is an envied figure.”
* His goal now is to “disrupt the disrupters” – sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy – with his 30 websites.
* “Facebook has been very generous about linking to our content,” says Spartz. “I’m aware that they might not be so generous forever.”
* Marantz writes: “Spartz does not call what he makes journalism, even if he employs a few journalists, and he does not erect barriers between his product and his means of promoting it.”
How Spartz would cover Uganda: