Newsweek’s ‘Picture Dept.’ Tumblr: a second stage for photography

Photo editors will curate the best photography from around the Web and point out worthwhile photo exhibits and books.

Newsweek has added another Tumblr to its collection with Picture Dept., a photo blog that provides a second stage for work published in Newsweek and on The Daily Beast and showcases worthwhile photography around the Web.

Images are of course a big part of Picture Dept., but so are posts about photo exhibits and photo books. “We created this Tumblr to participate in the photo community,” said Cara Phillips, a photo editor for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. It’s meant to be a single destination “where we can share what we think is great out there and what people should be looking at.”

Newsweek has a long history with Tumblr (well, old if you consider that the latter’s only five years old). Picture Dept. joins a few siblings in the Newsweek/Daily Beast family of Tumblrs:

It follows The New York Times’ innovative “Lively Morgue” Tumblr, which features old Times photos — the fronts and the backs, which often have interesting notations.

Picture Dept. strikes me as a bit of a hybrid between a typical Tumblr and a destination site. Editors will take part in the sharing and reblogging that is core to the Tumblr experience, and of course its posts appear on its followers’ dashboards.

But it also has a basic, tag-based navigation that encourages browsing, even by people who still don’t quite understand what Tumblr is for: “Found” (posts that point to content found elsewhere on the Web), “Features” (collections of images, presented in slide shows) and “Recommended.” Read more


Bitly data shows the best times to post links to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr

Bitly, the URL shortener of choice for most people, has analyzed its click-tracking data to find the optimal days and times for posting links to social media. The results show interesting, distinct patterns among Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

On Twitter, the best window is 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Facebook was hot at 1 to 4 p.m. And Tumblr is a night owl, with posts doing best after 7 p.m. See the charts below for the full breakdown from Bitly. Read more


Reuters photog who took ‘Texts from Hillary’ picture says viral meme was ‘a mystery to me’

Reuters | Storify
Reuters photographer Kevin Lamarque tells the story behind his now-famous photo of Hillary Clinton wearing sunglasses and checking her BlackBerry:

“On a secretive trip by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Tripoli, only days before the capture and killing of Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, I photographed Clinton aboard a C-17 transport plane. She was wearing dark sunglasses while texting from a makeshift desk she was working from. Okay, nice image I thought, but we were about to land in Tripoli which was certain to yield the images that the world would really want to see. Initially yes. But that was last October.”

Last week it sparked a meme of 32 Tumblr posts suggesting what and who Clinton was text messaging. They got 83,000 shares on Facebook, over 45,000 Tumblr followers and a blitz of media coverage. In the end, Clinton herself joined the fun.

In a Facebook chat on Thursday Lamarque said, “I am perhaps a bit old school, I don’t tweet and I spend little time reading blogs, so the scope and scale of the whole thing was a bit of a mystery to me.” And in the blog post, he adds: “Photographers, you never really know when your pictures will resurface and what use they will be to someone out there.”

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Time’s must-see Tumblrs: ProPublica, ShortFormBlog, Newspaper Blackout


Among Time’s must-see Tumblrs:

Related: Journalists are the 99 percent too, says new Tumblr | Journalists learn what works (& doesn’t work) on TumblrHow to adapt online news in the age of sharing Read more


How to adapt online news in the age of sharing

Internet users are sending a message most media companies aren’t ready to hear: They want to share, reuse and remix your content.

To leaders of news organizations and other media, this probably means one thing: copyright violation. But with a new style of publishing, they could turn it into an opportunity.

The most popular social networks thrive by letting users repost other people’s content. What if news publishers did the same?

The world’s 1.2 billion Internet users spend one in every five minutes on a social network, the fastest-growing of which are those designed for copying and curating.

Felix Salmon reports that the surging Tumblr microblogging network has nine people curating (by “reblogging” others’ posts) for every one person creating original posts. Then there’s the explosive growth of Pinterest (visits up 55 percent in one month), a social network exclusively for curating images and ideas from around the Web.

And of course tweets are retweeted and Facebook posts reshared. All these networks thrive on the portable, sharable nature of content.

Now contrast that with media companies, which still operate in a Web 1.0 content economy. They host a piece of content exclusively on one website, and the only permissible way to view it is on that page (with its accompanying ads).

This old model of the centralized, copyrighted website is the opposite of the free-sharing, remixing culture that the Internet is embracing through Tumblr and Pinterest.

That’s a disruptive problem for media companies, as Salmon writes: “The old models still work. But the new, more distributed models are I think much more powerful.” He goes on:

The social, digital world is…where the content creators with the broadest reach will be the ones who care the least about protecting their copyrights.

I suspect that we’re only in the very early days of seeing how this is going to disrupt just about every media organization built on the idea of hosting a website and selling ads, including highly socially-attuned ones like the Huffington Post. HuffPo is built on the idea that when stories are shared on Twitter or Facebook, that will drive traffic back to huffingtonpost.com, where it can then monetize that traffic by selling it to advertisers. But in [the] future, the most viral stories are going to have a life of their own, being shared across many different platforms and being read by people who will never visit the original site on which they were published.

So what does the online news publisher of the future do to take advantage of this hypersharing culture? Free the story from the site.

The “story” (whether text, photos or video) still lives on the publisher’s own website, but others are allowed or even encouraged to repost it elsewhere in an approved, mutually beneficial format.

Taking a page (view) from YouTube

If this sounds far-fetched, it shouldn’t. This is exactly the model that helps video sites such as YouTube and Hulu reach millions of people. They go with the Web’s natural currents of sharing. Users get to embed the videos they love wherever they want. YouTube and Hulu still get to show their logos, ads and links to related videos.

But what about the bread-and-butter of online news, the text-based article? Technologically, that’s trickier. But some pieces of the puzzle already are out there.

What if regular news articles were as easy to embed as a Storify?

Storify articles are created on Storify.com, but with a single line of JavaScript can be embedded on any other site. A news organization could use similar technology so that others could embed its full articles, including links and ads.

APIs, like those from The New York Times and the Guardian, enable Web developers to automatically access their content and data to use in their own apps and websites.

The Associated Press’ NewsRight program sells licenses to aggregators that want to reuse stories from the AP or participating newspapers.

What has to be solved first

News organizations in particular still have some problems to solve if they are to move to this distributed-content model:

  • How to maintain audience relationships. Publishers create additional value by building communities and audience relationships around their website content. If content scatters far and wide, publishers also need ways of building relationships with that new audience.
  • Monitor usage and abuse. If publishers allow people to repost or embed their content under certain conditions, they’ll need to be able to monitor compliance with those conditions and revoke those who abuse the privilege.

The power of the distributed-content model to reach the largest online audience is clear. The only question is which publishers will develop the technology and the business model to take advantage of it. Read more


The year in sharing: Facebook dominant, but Twitter & Tumblr are booming

Facebook accounted for more than half of all content-sharing activity in 2011, according to new data from AddThis.

The company’s sharing buttons are embedded on more than 11 million websites, giving it a pretty broad view of how content moves across the Internet. While Facebook captured 52 percent of all sharing, some smaller players are growing fast:

  • Twitter accounts for 13.5 percent of sharing, but grew almost six times this year.
  • Tumblr sharing grew by about 13 times “and is accelerating.”
  • Use of Google’s +1 button grew almost four times “but has plateaued.”

AddThis also found that 2011 was a big year for sharing on mobile devices, with six times more sharing on iPhones, iPads and Android devices this year. The iPad also surpassed the iPhone in sharing volume in June.

The company also analyzed which news event during the year accounted for the most sharing activity: Osama bin Laden’s death.

Simon Dumenco at Ad Age, who had an early look at the stats, has pulled out some notable figures.

This timeline from AddThis shows the most-shared news events of 2011.

Earlier: Most online sharing doesn’t use embedded buttons (Poynter.org) | Additional coverage of Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr Read more


Mark Coatney on how Tumblr can help journalists advance their careers

In this week’s career chat, we talked with Mark Coatney, director/media evangelist at Tumblr. Coatney began using Tumblr when he was special projects editor at Newsweek.com and has since learned how various news organizations are using the tool to share content, advance their coverage and reach new audiences.

Coatney explained how journalists can use Tumblr to advance their careers and the work they do, and he shared examples of news sites that are using the tool in innovative ways.

You can replay the chat here …

<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=793491f633″ mce_href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php/option=com_mobile/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=793491f633″ >Mark Coatney on how Tumblr can help journalists advance their careers</a> Read more


Americans spend just a fraction of online time with news compared to social media

In a report on social media published Monday, Nielsen breaks down how Americans spend their time on the Internet. The results are sobering for the online news industry. Americans spend 22.5 percent of their Internet time on social networks and blogs, and just 2.6 percent on current events & global news. Among the online activities that occupy more time than news: online games, portals, videos/movies, instant messaging and classifieds/auctions. Nielsen notes slivers of time on specialty news, including “computer and consumer electronics news,” but they’re counted in a broad “other” category. These figures were based based on Nielsen’s tracking of a panel of Internet users. Skeptical readers may note that blogs could relate to news, and portals post news stories, so take that into account.

Activity Percent of Internet time spent on it
Other (including porn) 35.1%
Social networks & blogs 22.5
Online games 9.8
Email 7.6
Portals 4.5
Videos/movies 4.4
Search 4.0
Instant messaging 3.3
Software manufacturer 3.2
Classifieds/auctions 2.9
Current events & global news 2.6
Read more

Time magazine launches two Tumblrs

Romenesko+ Memos
One is a shorter, more social version of Time’s photo blog, LightBox. The second Tumblr, according to a Time memo, “aims to be a digital scrapbook of this institution’s vintage work, its indelible cultural influence and our own anecdotes on the work we do.” Read more


Tumblr now has about the same number of bloggers as WordPress

WordPress has been around for eight years, and Tumblr just four. In the past six months, the number of Tumblr users has nearly tripled, reports John Asante. (There are more than 7 million Tumblr blogs.) Mark Coatney, who joined Tumblr last July after editing Newsweek’s Tumblr, talks about Tumbling with NPR’s “Morning Edition”:

It’s more almost like, you know, an email experience in a way. You’ll dash off an email or do a tweet or something like that because it’s quick and easy, so it’s kind of taking that thinking and applying it to blogging.

It kind of speaks to what I think is a new and emerging thing in journalism, which is kind of talking to your audience on a peer-to-peer level as opposed to the broadcast model where you put it out and people consume it.

Earlier: Coatney says his job is to introduce Tumblr to big media Read more


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