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BuzzFeed will take over the Florida Aquarium for an Aug. 29 party during the RNC



buzzfeed_lrg.pngBuzzFeed will take over the Florida Aquarium Aug. 29, presenting an invitation-only reception after that day's events at the Republican National Convention, further highlighting the website's increased original content and political reporting.

Organizers expect more than 200 people for the invitation-only event, scheduled from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on a Wednesday evening, midway through the convention. BuzzFeed, established as a guide to viral stories spreading across the Internet and pop culture memes, now features more original reporting --opening a bureau in Washington D.C., with plans to send 10 people to Tampa for RNC coverage.

"I've always struggled with how to cover conventions; they're like four-day infomercials," said BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, a former blogger for POLITICO who joined the site late last year. "I do think the interesting stories will be the opposite stories the convention wants to tell...I want to break the story of the first (GOP) delegate arrested for solicitation."

An official at the Aquarium said the Tampa facility would be closed for the week of the RNC for private functions, but likely would not release information on who has rented the space until closer to the event.

BuzzFeed has already published a story on the Top Five Strip Clubs for the Republican National Convention, and Smith acknowledges that to folks outside the Sunshine State, Florida can be a home for odd stories.

"On the Internet, when you say Florida, it's zombie apocalypse land," he said, laughing.  "The immediate association is with the strange news stories."

[Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012 4:26pm]


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