Should your media outlet get on Tumblr?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 @ 9:00 am | On-line, Work

I’ve written before on how Tumblr is starting to gain a role in the online strategy of media outlets. In the last few months a number of big name publications have started blogs on the platform. There are a few good reasons why your media outlet should get a Tumblr blog.

1. Sharing sharing sharing

Unlike other blogging platforms (eg. WordPress, Blogger) sharing is built into the DNA of Tumblr. It takes one click to repost a great image, quote or video from one Tumblr blog to yours. This rewards blogs that have great and well-defined editing, aggregation and curation. If you find great content and post it, it’ll get shared. Find enough great content and you’ll make yourself a destination.

Example: The Daily What. The popular blog finds the best, funniest and wackiest stuff online — odd videos, funny headlines, gobsmacking stories. Getting something on the Daily What pretty much means you’re getting reposted, liked and commented on by dozens if not hundreds of people.

2. Showing off your editorial voice

A number of publications use Tumblr as a great platform for their editorial voice by finding and posting a mix of self-produced content and things from other publications. Others trawl the seemingly endless waters of the internet for great finds. For a new publication, or one without a big recognizable name Tumblr is another way for you to show potential readers what you’re all about.

Example: Worn Fashion Journal‘s Tumblr. An indie fashion magazine out of Toronto, the Wornettes find photos, illustrations and articles that inspire them. It gives the magazine a way to keep their magazine out there and I get the feeling that it helps the editors, contributors and interns sharpen their ideas. (Disclosure: I’ve contributed to Worn)

3. Visuals

Most CMSes and blogging platforms are designed with text in mind. It’s understandable considering that text is the dominant medium for many media outlets. Tumblr, on the other hand, is great for visuals. It actually seems to be designed with photos and graphics in mind.  There are tons of templates that are designed for photoblogging and it’s easy to design (or find) a template that’s visually rich and striking.

Example: The National Post Tumblr. We started the blog as a way to get the Post’s beautiful graphics, illustrations and photography on to a space where it could really take centre stage. Tumblr was the perfect fit. Want another great example? The New York Times’ T magazine Tumblr has pictures so big you probably want a 24′ monitor to really make it work.

Other notable Tumblr blogs:

The Washington Post‘s Innovations Tumblr cherry-picks the best digital journalism out there and gives us an inside glimpse at some of the great things their online team is doing.

A visually-heavy blog from a radio network? NPR’s Tumblr picks the best stories and lots and lots of images. A smart way of inserting yourself into the Tumblr community and conversation.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t include Newsweek‘s Tumblr, the granddaddy of media Tumblrs. Reading Newsweek’s Tumblr feels like a conversation with the smart and cosmopolitan writers and editors who work there.

Leave a Reply