Articles about "Tumblr"

foley 2

The last email sent to Foley’s family

mediawiremorningGood morning. Your weekend is in sight. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. James Foley’s last months: Cassandra Vinograd tells how James Foley‘s family communicated with his captors. (NBC News) | “Some messages were political and some were financial.” (CNN) | The last email sent to his family (GlobalPost) | Shane Bauer: “Like my family, [Foley's family] probably sometimes thought they should do more to try and convince his captors to let him go. Other times they likely reasoned they should stay quiet, hoping that silence would give the hostage takers the opportunity to quietly release him. It’s a hideous position to be in.” (Mother Jones) | NYT editorial: “There is no simple answer on whether to submit to terrorist extortion.” (NYT) || Foley’s family establishes journalism scholarship at Marquette. (The Wire)
  2. More Fareed Zakaria plagiarism accusations coming: @crushingbort and @blippoblappo have another post coming, they tell Poynter. (It will post here.) Here’s a taste (bigger image here) of what they say is coming:


  3. Ferguson has become a routine: “But now the nights follow a ragged, rule-bound routine that begins before dusk, when reporters check batteries, officers check weapons, and protesters prepare to repeat their calls for accountability.” (NYT) | “Down the hill on West Florissant, people gather throughout the night — journalists, police, protesters, people who seem to just want to watch all three.” (Poynter) | “Part of the reason Twitter has been so intertwined with the news coming out of Ferguson are the social media habits of blacks and journalists.” (Politico) | Al Jazeera America freelancer Ryan L. Schuessler finds the “behavior and number of journalists [in Ferguson] so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.” (Ryan L. Schuessler) | “Schuessler won’t name” the journalists he claims to have seen behaving badly, J.K. Trotter writes. “But we will.” (Gawker)
  4. So why can’t HuffPost pay to keep a citizen journalist in Ferguson?? Plan to crowd-source funding for Mariah Stewart to keep reporting through Beacon drew boos from journalists who wondered why HuffPost couldn’t just pay her. (Jim Romenesko) | “Readers, won’t you make a donation today to support HuffPo’s nip-slip coverage?” (AdAge) | Mathew Ingram: “the choice isn’t between HuffPo hiring Stewart and using Beacon Reader to crowdfund a salary, it’s between crowdfunding her fellowship and not doing anything.” (Gigaom)
  5. Ferguson potpourri: The best and worst data journalism that’s come out of the coverage. (CJR) | An explainer on protest leaders (Riverfront Times) | Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan hits a story on Michael Brown‘s death: “The Times is asking readers to trust its sourcing, without nearly enough specificity or detail; and it sets up an apparently equal dichotomy between named eyewitnesses on one hand and ghosts on the other.” (NYT) | HuffPost’s Ferguson omnibus. (HuffPost) | Some of Kristen Hare‘s photos. (Poynter)
  6. Don Lemon is not having a good Ferguson: Interview with Talib Kweli goes very wrong. (Mediaite) | Discussion of weapons goes very wrong. (Gawker) | Related: “What journalists need to know about guns and gun control” (Poynter)
  7. How to sell Tumblr: The number of accounts should grow 25 percent this year. “Because many Tumblr users have multiple blogs, the number of blogs (currently 200 million) and daily posts (84.2 million) grows at a multiple to the number of users, giving the company a lot of new, mobile ad inventory — if only Yahoo can figure out a way to sell it.” (Forbes)
  8. A historic moment: Media reporter goes on vacation, and someone notices. (FishbowlDC)
  9. Oxford American plans Kickstarter campaign to fund music issue: Party Sept. 2 at South on Main in Little Rock. (Arkansas Times)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Edward Menicheschi is now president of Condé Nast Media Group. He was publisher of Vanity Fair. (Poynter) | Kim Heneghan is now vice president and general manager of money products for U.S. News and World Report. Previously, she was general manager of online at Hanley Wood, a real estate media firm. Kim Castro was named executive editor of consumer advice at U.S. News. Previously, she was managing editor for money and health there. (U.S. News) | Dan Mellon will be general manager of WJLA in Washington D.C. Previously, he was a group manager for Sinclair’s stations. Tony D’Angelo will be general manager of WSYX in Columbus, Ohio. (Sinclair Broadcast Group) | J.C. Lowe will be general manager of WEAR and WFGX in Pensacola, Florida. Previously, he was Sinclair’s general manager in Birmingham. (Sinclair Broadcast Group) | Deep Nishar, senior vice president of products and user experience at LinkedIn, is leaving the company. (LinkedIn) | Jessi Hempel is a senior writer at Wired. Previously, she was a writer for Fortune. (Jessi Hempel) | Job of the day: The National Journal is looking for an editor for its Next America project. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs). Send Ben your job moves:

A programming note: I will be on vacation Aug. 25-29. If you get this roundup by email, it will come to you from Sam Kirkland while I’m gone. Please email Sam (, Kristen Hare ( or Ben Mullin ( with tips and job moves while I’m gone. See you Sept. 2.

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: Read more


Why newspaper photo cliches make for great Tumblrs

“I feel sorry for local news photographers,” begins the About text on a blog dedicated to newspaper photos.

That’s understandable, given the heavy workload of the photographers lucky enough to have survived rounds of layoffs.

The site says newspaper photographers are “hugely skilled and poorly paid.” Again, no argument there.

But then there’s this: “[they're] sent out to photograph miserable people pointing at dog turds. Here, we celebrate their work.”

So begins the U.K.-based Angry people in local newspapers blog, one of a handful of websites that collect cliched shots from overworked photographers lacking job security.

Similar sites in the genre include a U.K.-based Tumblr dedicated to Daily Mail photos of people “looking sad while holding, or standing close to, the thing that has made them feel sad.” And, in the U.S., there’s the more recent Tumblr from American journalist Jeremy Barr, “Local People With Their Arms Crossed.”

Barr’s site sports the tagline: “The pose that says, ‘Hey, look at me. I’m featured on the front of my local newspaper.’” He relies on the Newseum’s daily display of front pages to source his examples, like this powerful crosser:

Sites like Barr’s offer an amusing look at the formulaic work that makes its way into publications large and small. But they also speak to the challenges of being a newspaper photographer today, according to Kenny Irby, a senior faculty member for visual journalism and director of community relations at Poynter.

“There are so many ‘people standing in front of things with their arms folded’ photographs on the Web largely because the people being assigned to document those images have no time to get to know the individual in their stories, and are ill-equipped to explore the visual variety of the environment,” Irby said.

That lack of time to develop a rapport with a source and indulge in some creativity results in photograph-by-numbers work.

Witness, for example, this from the “Angry people’s” site’s ever-growing collection of angry people pointing at things that made them angry enough to attract press coverage:


Over at Hear Me Wail, the sad people in the Daily Mail Tumblr, you’ll encounter characters such as this hirsute barman pulling a tap of pent-up emotion:

Or this somber woman presenting a Whopper:

But their object-oriented emotion gets kicked up a notch over at “Angry people in local newspapers.” The best of its offerings include a supremely peeved mother and her damaged car:

Asked about his motivation for launching a photo-cliche site, Barr previously offered this comment to Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon:

I love simple Tumblrs, and I think local newspapers are a national treasure in more ways than people realize. I was looking through front pages with another idea in mind and noticed this pose in a few papers around the country. It’s such a silly pose, and it connotes so much. So, I thought it might be fun to see if I could compile these poses. Fortunately there’s been a steady stream of them since I started this at the beginning of the month. I thought it was funny, and I hoped people would agree.

(Beaujon is also an aficionado of the arms-crossed pose, having exposed its use at the Washington Examiner back in 2011.)

Irby isn’t surprised at how easy it is for Barr and others to find material for their sites.

“We are seeing so much unoriginal photographic coverage because we have so many beginners now making images and getting those images posted without an editor’s vetting eye,” he said. “Too few of the beginners discern the value of active, authentic, arresting photographic coverage, which is the result of a time-investment relationship that provides access.”

The result is a very of-the-moment media cycle: a lack of time and resources leads to cliched photojournalism, which begets Tumblrs collecting and celebrating said cliched shots.

That makes this photo a glorious cliche-bomb of the genre — it features angry/sad people, the object of their anger/sadness and a double arm-crossing all in one:

Correction: This post originally and incorrectly described the Angry people in local newspapers blog as a Tumblr. It’s hosted on Blogger. Read more

overall dashboard screenshot

A journalist’s guide to using Tumblr

This morning I wrote about how some newsrooms use Tumblr, but getting to know the site can take awhile. So here’s a quick guide to using Tumblr, with Poynter’s Tumblr page as a reference.

This is the Tumblr Dashboard, the first thing Tumblr users see when they visit the site. This is Poynter’s Dash, but each user’s Dash will look a bit different, depending on what blogs each user follows.

From the Dashboard, users can access most of the key Tumblr functions — it’s the hub for making and sharing posts. Users scroll down — and can keep scrolling down — to read posts from the Tumblrs they follow. As you can see, the first post in our feed (when the screenshot was taken) was from the Pulitzer Center’s Tumblr.

If a user wants to make their own post, they can do so with the toolbar at the top of their Dashboard. These are the general posts they can make, but there’s room for crossover. Users can embed photos, video and media like tweets in text posts; they can add text to photo, link, audio and video posts, and so on.

Laura Oliver, community manager at the Guardian, said Tumblr’s versatility was what drew the publication to the platform.

“The ability to add text, pictures and audio, and to reblog others’ content… was something we were keen to try out as a multimedia reporting tool, and to experiment with different ways of presenting and embedding this content on”

Above are a few posts from blogs that Poynter follows, as they appeared on our feed. Posts from the blogs users follow are aggregated into a single stream.

Outlets may develop a certain editorial voice through the content they post and share, but they also contribute to the ecosystem and tone of the users’ feed. Users can curate their feed to reflect their values and are far likelier to encounter an organization’s post through their blogroll rather than via the organization’s Tumblr homepage.

Here are two more posts, from the BBC Breaking News blog and a popular blog called Brotips. Regardless of the subject matter, each post gets relatively equal weight – the only thing that will change the size of the post is the amount of content in each post.

Here are some statistics from the right-hand side of the Dashboard; they’re for the Poynter Institute’s Tumblr. We have 499 published posts and 1,231 followers; users can click each on their own Dashboards to see the posts they’ve made and who follows them, respectively. If a user wants to save a post in the middle of working on it, they can save the post as a draft; if they don’t want to publish it immediately after finishing it, they can schedule it to be posted at a specific time and date, or they can add it to the Queue, and Tumblr will space out the posts at the rate you specify. Both scheduled and queued posts are listed in the Queue.

Users on Tumblr are generally able to keep track of new content in their feed; that’s hard to do with a site like Twitter unless you’re constantly perched on the homepage. As a result, says Colleen Shalby of PBS NewsHour, the environment on Tumblr is different than Twitter.

“To stay pertinent on [Twitter and Facebook] you kind of have to be a part of the conversation constantly…there’s not a need to be with [Tumblr] 24/7.”

These are the notifications you’ll get when a user or follower interacts with your posts. Liking a post on Tumblr is akin to liking a post on Facebook, whereas reblogging a post on Tumblr means the post will also be posted to the user’s own feed, with information about where the post came from. For example, if someone reblogs a post from our account, it will say “Reblogged from Poynter” at the top of the post. It’s a way of sharing others’ content with your own followers.

A little more on sharing: In the top right corner of each post, you’ll see icons like this. Depending on the type of post, you may see all or only a few of them.

  • The box with the number in it is the number of notes each post has received. Posts get a note each time a person likes or reblogs the post, from anyone. The note count here is 287; that means since the first person made the original post, 287 people have liked or reblogged the post (or that a smaller number of people have done both). It is a cumulative count.
  • The rectangular outline with an arrow allows you to share the post outside of Tumblr. At the moment, you can access the permalink to the post or email the post.
  • Some posts may ask a question or for input. They’ll be accompanied by the chat bubble, which you can click and then type a response to the post. It will be listed under the post. (The chat bubble isn’t shown in the above image, but it looks like a speech bubble in a comic book.)
  • The two arrows headed in opposite directions represent reblogging. If you reblog a post, it will be posted to your own blog and show up in your followers’ feeds.
  • The heart button is what users click to like a post.

If look at the bottom of the Vanity Fair post, you’ll see hashtags. Tagging works on Tumblr the same way it works on sites like Twitter and Instagram.

Some tags are very popular on Tumblr – they range from things like “politics” and “history” to “nail art” and “photography.” Because of the massive influx of posts with these tags, it can be hard to sort through to find high-quality posts or posts of widespread merit. For these tags, Tumblr tasks editors with searching through Tumblr for posts to tag with the popular labels. Those tagged posts are given preferential placement in search results for the tags.

Some users prefer to avoid content geared toward more adult or mature audiences; Tumblr doesn’t ban users from posting porn, while individual users may want to avoid it. Safe Dash blocks posts that are NSFW from fully loading. If there’s an image in a post that’s tagged #NSFW (or a similar tag), the image won’t automatically load; users will have to click to load it.

If you’re interested in learning more about Tumblr for journalists, check out NewsU’s webinar on best practices for the platform. Read more

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Tumblr Chief Executive David Karp.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

How some news orgs use Tumblr

What do you do with a blog service full of cat GIFs and memes? If you’re Yahoo, you buy it for $1.1 billion. If you’re a media outlet, you use Tumblr as an extension of your brand.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Tumblr Chief Executive David Karp. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The platform, founded by David Karp in 2007, is home to more than 108 million blogs and more than 50 billion individual posts. Tumblr pages take seconds to set up, and users range from individuals like John Green to companies like IBM. Even the White House has a Tumblr.

Tumblr makes it easy for users to post quickly, and those posts can be just about anything, like a long text post, a photo with a link or a video. Because of Tumblr’s versatility — and because it lets users interact with one another — many news organizations have joined and made Tumblr blogs to share their coverage or communicate with their audiences. There’s room for blogs with just about any purpose, so here’s a look at how several outlets use the site. (And here’s a more hands-on guide.)

Answering readers’ practical questions

The San Francisco Chronicle uses its Tumblr not as a platform to share content but as a means to address subscriber service concerns. Now that the site has a paywall for SFChron, it helps both paying subscribers, as well as those who follow the Chronicle on its main website, SFGate.

Matt Dickon, who runs the Chronicle’s service Tumblr and Twitter accounts, said he prefers to respond to subscriber and reader concerns on Tumblr rather than through an email service, because of the immediacy of sending and receiving messages on Tumblr.

“Sometimes within a minute of a question coming in, I’m writing an answer,” he said by phone. Anyone with a Tumblr account can send a message or question, under their handle, to the account; those without an account can submit a question anonymously.

Dickow said using Tumblr for troubleshooting is more direct than an email submission and reporting process because the questions come straight to him rather than being sent to a general email address and then sorted by a software program.

He can also answer questions and post them publicly on the Tumblr; as long as the questions are general concerns, the information is be applicable to others with similar problems.

“So long as [subscribers] bookmark the page, they have access to the information,” he said.

Engaging audiences and creating new content

Audience engagement is key to the success of an outlet’s Tumblr. Two Tumblrs in particular exemplify good audience engagement: NPR’s family of Tumblrs, and I Love Charts.

NPR has built a group of Tumblr blogs, from a general NPR Tumblr to Tumblrs for programs like Fresh Air and Wait Wait.. Don’t Tell Me. Each blog is run by different teams, but they follow a similar layout and design style so the group looks unified.

“If you look at each one of the Tumblrs, they’re each run differently,” Wright Bryan, an editor on NPR’s social media desk, said by phone. Bryan was part of the team that made the first, general NPR Tumblr.

I spoke with Bryan and Kate Myers, NPR’s product manager for social media, about NPR’s all-purpose Tumblr and several user submission projects the station has run.

“We are using Tumblr as an editorial engine,” Myers said by phone. She explained that several NPR campaigns run through Tumblr – like the “Dear Mr. President” campaign – were made possible because NPR is used to this sort of user engagement, and because its existing audience is invested in the station.

For example, I explained to Bryan and Myers that I had grown up listening to NPR with my family, but once I went to college, I no longer had a car and didn’t listen to the radio in my spare time. However, I still feel a connection to NPR and follow it on Tumblr and my other social media accounts.

“I’ve heard that story so many times,” said Bryan. “Now the only way that this group of people [younger people] is getting our content is on the Web, on a podcast, through social platforms…It’s critical that we be there, I think, to meet those people where they are.”

Myers agreed, and said that engagement on social media platforms fits with NPR’s overall strategy to engage listeners. Developing a relationship with listeners on the radio is a one-way conversation; interaction between the station and listeners on Tumblr is a “natural outgrowth” of that relationship, she said.

“You feel like it’s a one-on-one conversation,” she said of NPR’s programming.“[It] sends the message that we’re invested in what they bring to the table.”

Evidence of the listener-station relationship is evident in several NPR projects run through Tumblr. Morning Edition’s “Cook Your Cupboard” Tumblr helps listeners figure out what they can rustle up with leftover or odd foodstuffs. She-Works, another NPR Tumblr, is a congruent effort with the “Changing Lives of Women” series that airs on several NPR programs. They also use the general Tumblr to hype NPR apps and special projects.

Another Tumblr, I Love Charts, leverages the same kind of content submission, and also allows for guest curation. The blog is full of niche content: if it’s data, emotion or some other quantifiable information expressed in a chart or graph, it’s relevant to the blog.

“We’re just lucky to have a very identifiable angle,” Jason Oberholtzer, who runs the Tumblr, said by phone.

Oberholtzer finds and reblogs content on his own, but he also uses submissions for a significant portion of the blog’s content. “We have a fairly large community of submitters,” he said.

Oberholtzer also explained that he lets some bloggers curate the blog for a day as a “chartist-in-residence,” which means they’re in charge of all the content published on the blog. They can reblog content or upload original work. Chartists have included Dante Shepherd of Surviving the World, Kelly and Zach Weinersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and The Weekly Weinersmith and artist Wendy MacNaughton.

“I give them the day,” Oberholtzer said. “The general guidelines are, we try to get out 10-12 posts a day… [and] they have access to our entire inbox of submitted charts.”

The success of I Love Charts has helped Oberholtzer in other ventures; he was offered a column by Forbes after running I Love Charts for about a year and a half, and there’s now an “I Love Charts” book, based on the blog.

Sharing content, regardless of source

The nature of Tumblr comes down to sharing content with followers. Most, if not all, news Tumblrs share others’ content in addition to their own coverage.

“We can’t cover everything, and we don’t report on everything… [that] doesn’t mean that another story isn’t worth attention,” Colleen Shalby, social media editor for PBS NewsHour, said in a phone interview. Shalby said the NewsHour Tumblr doesn’t just share its own content; it reblogs (shares a post from another Tumblr) or posts links to other outlets’ coverage.

One of the most popular posts from their Tumblr, a Roger Ebert quote posted after he died, “wasn’t even our piece of content.” Sharing others’ content isn’t just about getting notes, however.

“Using Tumblr is a bit about showing your organization’s personality, and that’s not just feeding the beast to get people back to the website,” she said.

Another outlet, native to Tumblr, uses the website to share media news. The Future Journalism Project, run by Michael Cervieri, shares news from other outlets by virtue of its positioning and angle.

“I had played with Tumblr beforehand, just kind of personal stuff, so I kind of knew what the community was like on there,” said Cervieri in a phone interview. “The decision was, let’s go to where the community is and see if we can build an audience.”

Cervieri writes posts about media news to share on the Tumblr, and will frequently reblog posts and add news to them. The Tumblr also aggregates news from other outlets, much like Poynter’s MediaWire blog on our homepage. News organizations have to be sure to share source information about what they’re posting; as Oberholtzer explained to me about I Love Charts, it’s important to be diligent about giving sources proper credit.

In fact, I’ve also tried to strike a balance between sharing our own content, and sharing others’ content, while running the Poynter Institute Tumblr. While I want to share the content we produce, it’s important that our Tumblr isn’t just a feed of the content we’ve published on our website. If it were, it wouldn’t interest people who already read our website, and if we published all of Poynter’s content on Tumblr, those who follow us on Tumblr would have no reason to visit our homepage. That’s why it’s important to have unique content on both.

Sharing one’s own content

While sharing third party content helps to develop voice, publications would have less of an incentive to create Tumblrs if it didn’t present an opportunity to share their own content. For some publications, Tumblr’s quirky and eclectic tone is a reflection of the publication.

“We do view [Tumblr] as a place where we talk about what we love and are interested in, a little bit separate from what we’re covering on a day to day and month to month basis,” Mark McClusky, editor of, said about the magazine’s Tumblr in an email interview. “That tone probably is closer to the magazine and website’s tone than some other brands Tumblrs are. We’re a brand that marries the intellectual and the obscure, and that reflects on the Tumblr.”

However, Tumblr also resonates with the voices of other publications that focus on straight news.

“We generally reflect the tone of the Guardian on Tumblr – so sometimes we can be very tongue-in-cheek,” Hannah Waldram, community coordinator for news at the Guardian, said in an email interview. For the Guardian, Tumblr is also a place to publish content that might not make it onto the front page.

“We sometimes do ‘behind the scenes’ posts or extra bits of reporting or insider knowledge on a news story,” Waldram said. Waldram also said the Guardian has covered specific news in greater depth on Tumblr based on the community’s interests. For example, when opposition to SOPA and PIPA was popular on Tumblr, the Guardian’s Tumblr highlighted the publication’s existing coverage.

The Guardian has also launched a special Tumblr project, called English to English, that points out incongruities in English as it’s spoken in the U.K. versus American English. The project takes advantage of Tumblr’s lighter tone as well as user interactivity; it publishes Guardian-produced posts, as well as reader submissions.

Tumblr-specific content is important to other publications’ social media strategy, too.

“One part of our strategy … is creating custom content specifically for social platforms, instead of just re-purposing content,” Anjali Mullany, digital news director for Fast Company, said of the publication’s social media strategy, in an email interview. “We may cover one story different ways for different platforms, or we may cover news on one of our social platforms that we did not cover on our website,” she said in a follow-up email.

Tumblr-specific content isn’t just about providing additional coverage; it also lets users get a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite publications.

“In some ways, Tumblr feels a bit like ‘MinnPost after dark.’ We approach things with more humor or snark — within reason — and try to show the personality of the organization,” Kaeti Hinck, director of news technology at MinnPost, an online-only Minnesota publication, said by email.

For example, during MinnRoast (a roast of the state), the team published photos of speakers to  MinnPost’s Tumblr that weren’t published on the website. And the Tumblr doesn’t just reflect MinnPost’s Minnesota-centric coverage; it also commiserates with its audience.  Hinck said the tone on the Tumblr reflected how MinnPost can relate to users on the platform.

“Minnesota has a strong local Tumblr contingent, so when I took over the MinnPost account a few years back I tried to connect with that community as much as possible. You can’t jump into an ecosystem completely blind to what’s going on around you and expect to be effective,” she said.

Overall, MinnPost’s attitude toward Tumblr reflects what the other publications know, too. Using the platform to promote the exact same content that’s published in print or on their own websites won’t work; instead, the platform is most successful as a tool for audience engagement. In fact, when I asked several of the people in this article what kind of traffic they get from their Tumblrs, they all said that that wasn’t the point of their publication’s Tumblr. Instead, it’s about developing a relationship with the Tumblr audience and sharing new content with their existing audiences.

“It’s so important to pay attention to what your peers and readers are doing on Tumblr, and to support that work,” Hinck said. “It’s a pay-it-forward sort of mentality: The more generous you are with sharing the work and content that other people create, the more your own presence will grow.”

Related: A journalist’s guide to using Tumblr | Journalists learn what works (& doesn’t work) on Tumblr | Tumblr for Journalists: Best Practices and Strategies (Poynter NewsU) Read more

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Yahoo buys Tumblr, DOJ targeted another reporter: Morning links

YAHOO WILL BUY TUMBLRPer the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business,” a Yahoo announcement this morning says. The acquisition cost Yahoo $1.1 billion, “substantially all of which is payable in cash.”

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tumblr website

Report: Yahoo in talks with Tumblr

All Things D | Adweek | GigaOm | TechCrunch

Yahoo is discussing “strategic alliance and investment in or outright buy of” Tumblr, Peter Kafka and Kara Swisher reported Thursday evening.

Any such deal “could certainly bring Yahoo a big, young audience,” they write.

[Tumblr's] worldwide traffic was at 117 million visitors in April, according to comScore. On its home page, Tumblr claims it has 107.8 million blogs and 50.6 billion posts. U.S. desktop traffic to Tumblr was 37 million in April, close to LinkedIn and Twitter, although Twitter obviously has much more via mobile.

The blogging service “has positioned itself as one of the few players in the digital ad world that is well suited for brand advertising,” Mike Shields writes, saying a deal between the companies could be worth $1 billion. Read more


Tumblr dissolves its editorial team

Tumblr | Betabeat | AllThingsD | TechCrunch

“A year ago, Tumblr did something unprecedented,” Tumblr founder David Karp writes about the editorial team the blogging service assembled, which fed its “Storyboard” project.

Tuesday night Tumblr did something not unprecedented in the world of publishing: It got rid of its editorial team.

“What we’ve accomplished with Storyboard has run its course for now, and our editorial team will be closing up shop and moving on,” Karp writes.

Tumblr told Kelly Faircloth it’s laying off three of the team’s four members. Peter Kafka and Catherine Shu both say Tumblr is focusing on profitability, a possible motivation for the layoffs. Read more


Meet the lady behind the ‘Said to Lady Journos’ Tumblr

The woman who created the new “Said to Lady Journos” Tumblr was taken aback when a male labor union representative recently told her: “You’re pretty smart for a young lady.”

“It knocked me sideways,” said the creator, a West Coast newspaper reporter who wishes to remain anonymous so as not to jeopardize her job. “I was shocked that someone would say something like that to me.”

She posted the comment online and heard from several female journalists who had experienced similar situations.

“I was surprised that so many people had quotes and anecdotes to share,” she said in a phone interview. “I wanted to create some place where people could feel comfortable talking about some of these issues and what happened to them.”

That same night, she created the “Said to Lady Journos” Tumblr and posted the comment there.

The Tumblr’s audience more than doubled after BuzzFeed wrote about the site last week. On Wednesday, after and The Huffington Post published stories about the Tumblr, its audience grew from 500 to 1,100 followers.

The “Said to Lady Journos” creator has heard a few different sexist remarks from men while working — specifically “I don’t talk to assertive women,” and “Can I be your Clark Kent?”

“I thought I would have to use more of my own examples because I was worried I wouldn’t get as many from other people,” she said. “But that really hasn’t been necessary.”

She received more than 60 comments Wednesday morning. 85 to 90 percent of the comments, she said, came from women. The rest have come from men who want to share things they’ve overheard other men say.

“I haven’t gotten many complimentary submissions because I think the tone makes it clear what we’re going for,” she said. “The point of it is to make people feel a little uncomfortable when they’re reading it.”

She said that while some men who make offensive remarks are “blatantly sexist,” she doesn’t think they’re all ill-intentioned: “What I’ve mostly noticed is that men tend to think they’re being charming or funny — or it’s banter or it’s flirting, or whatever they think it is. But that’s really not OK for the workplace when you’re dealing with two professionals.”

She posts most of the comments she receives. Because the commenters are anonymous, she can’t fact-check their statements.

“I suppose there’s always a possibility that people are making these up, but since the quotes are anonymous for all parties, they really have no reason to,” she said. “If I named names, I’d feel ethically obligated to reach out to them and verify.”

Inspiration for the name “Said to Lady Journos” came from Ann Friedman’s “Lady Journos” Tumblr, which highlights female journalists’ work. The “Said to Lady Journos” creator admires Friedman’s work, and is drawn to the word “lady,” she told me.

“Sometimes it’s almost tongue-in-cheek. But it doesn’t have that same kind of dusty meaning that it used to,” she said. “It’s not ‘woman,’ which feels very heavy, ‘female,’ which feels clinical, or ‘girl,’ which can seem childish. It’s kind of a nice in-between.”

Friedman made similar points last month in a New Republic story about the word’s evolution. “With its slippery meaning — associations range from grandma’s lavender-scented powder to the raunchiest of rap lyrics — it encapsulates the fundamental mutability of modern feminism,” she wrote.

Friedman likes that “Said to Lady Journos” provides women with an outlet (and an audience) for sharing discriminatory comments.

“It’s nice to have documentation of the sort of things women talk about over drinks, or amongst themselves in a safe space, held up to light,” she said by phone. “I do think these are things women complain about to male colleagues who are not creepy, but I don’t think it’s something men have to think about when they go out to do their jobs.”

Friedman once considered creating a “Dirty Journos” Tumblr that female journalists could use to share information about sexual harassers in newsrooms. She said she ultimately decided against it, partly because of the legal issues that could arise from naming the accused.

Many of the responses to the “Said to Lady Journos” Tumblr have repeated a similar refrain: The comments are “depressingly familiar.”

“I think every female journalist has a story like this,” the site’s creator said. “There’s been a great response to it because people are realizing they’re not alone in having had these experiences. It’s a common ground.” Read more

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‘Said to Lady Journos’ Tumblr is ‘depressingly relatable,’ female journalists say

A new Tumblr, Said to Lady Journos, highlights comments (mostly sexist) that female journalists hear on the job.

Here’s a sampling:

  • “Are you sure you know the game well enough to keep score?” — a father at a high school baseball game
  • “If you got shrapnel in your ass, I’d be happy to take it out.” — Contractor to a female journalist at a US military base in Iraq
  • “You, me and that camera could do some dirty things.” — Said to a freshman photojournalist at a local bar as she shot a school assignment
Read more

Ben Lowy photographs Libya with his new iPhone Hipstamatic Lens

Storyboard | iSee
Conflict photographer Ben Lowy is relying on his iPhone and his soon-to-be-released Hipstamatic lens, which applies minimal processing to the images, to document his latest trip to Libya. For the next week, Tumblr’s Storyboard will publish his photographs.

In an interview with Storyboard, Lowy says he’s gravitated to his iPhone rather than a sophisticated DSLR in part because it’s more efficient and inconspicuous. “I think it engenders a greater sense of intimacy with subjects because you’re not putting a big camera in their face.” Read more