Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Tumblr’s first executive editor Jessica Bennett

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 3, 2012 12:31 UTC

Tumblr, the microblogging platform that has been experiencing explosive growth which I detailed recently, has hired Chris Mohney to become their editor-in-chief, along with Jessica Bennett, who will act as executive editor.

What exactly will they do? I spoke to Jessica to find out.

What do you envision the content you’re going to create to sound like? Will it be entirely on the staff blog or will there be some other platform?

What will the content sound like… I think it’ll sound a lot like the stories I write now. Probably less women’s issues, and certainly no Jerry Sandusky, but it will be real journalism — stories that are both about Tumblr’s users, what those users are creating, the social trends and cultural observations that are growing out of that creation, and the broader ideas and themes that surround it all. So: think trend stories — the democratization of creation. Think on the ground: who are the teen tumblr users in a remote town in Ukraine, and how did they find the platform? Think big picture: how is social media changing the way we interact and engage? Think data: what can Tumblr users tell us about the current presidential race? How do men and women interact differently online? Is it possible to find love on Tumblr? The mandate is broad, and the format will go beyond the written word. It’s really an opportunity to think outside the box, to experiment with what works — and to have some fun while we’re doing it.

Will you be given the opportunity to address issues in the Tumblr community, or is this more about broad general news outside of inter-tumblr community happenings?

Our goal is to surface genuinely interesting stories, to an audience of Tumblr users and the world at large. It’s definitely possible we’ll address what users are talking about. And we totally, totally encourage community input — how will we find the best stories if not taking tips and ideas from our users?

David Karp discusses Tumblr’s growing pains

Anthony De Rosa
Sep 8, 2011 16:09 UTC

The very platform this post is appearing on is undergoing a bit of a revolution. The rise of blogs over the past decade has begun to give way to microblogging platforms, such as Twitter and Tumblr. The difference between the two is that microblogs tend to rely heavily on short bursts of information: links, photos, videos and brief messages. Blogger fatigue gave way to sharing smaller, less labor intensive bits of content.

The short timely updates have not gone unnoticed. Twitter has become something of a wire that provides up to the second reports about breaking news from around the world, used by both large traditional news outlets and freelance reporters. Tumblr is used by ABC journalist Matthew Keys for, among other topics, coverage of the Japan earthquake, which was recognized with a nomination by the Online News Association for the best breaking news by a small site. Until recently, Keys was a freelancer, but his online reporting on microblogging platforms drew attention and led to his recent hire by ABC.

While Twitter’s membership rate grew 26% over the past year, according to Search Engine Journal, Tumblr’s rate has been equally, if not more impressive. According to ComScore, Tumblr attracted 13.4 million visitors in July 2011, up 218% from a year ago (4.2 million in July 2010) along with a staggering 2.5 billion page views per month. 12.5 billion page views per month (according to Quantcast) With tremendous growth comes growing pains, as Twitter once experienced with their own pre-2008 downtime issues.

  •