Really more of a backup rant seeing as the rant we’d originally lined up for this time slot was pre-empted at the last minute at pain of both Doree1 and Katiebakes2 auto-close-tabbing3 our asses—but hey, we got rants to spare around here!
So! Let’s begin.
See that you guys? The print media! They’re on Tumblr! I mean you heard, right? You didn’t miss the last two weeks of relentless self-congratulatory announcements, did you? About how We The Established Print Media Are Coming To Tumblr To Engage Our Audiences?
Except that maybe you did, seeing as so far “Coming To Tumblr To Engage Our Audiences” seems pretty indistinguishable from “Bringing Our Insidery Circle Jerk To Yet Another Social Media Echo Chamber.” Just look at this exchange: high-fives from Politico, an alley oop from The New Yorker, all rounded out with a celebratory ass-pat from The Atlantic. And what’s really sad is just how symbolic it is to see Mark Coatney right in the middle of all this—the guy whose job it is to help these Established Brands™ reach out to the Tumblr community—and here he is giving them the formal intro and all they can think to do with it is cheerlead amongst themselves.
You can lead a horse to water, I guess.
So then I got curious as to just how well these guys were engaging their newfound audiences and went looking around. Check out who Politico is following:
Or how about The American Prospect:
And while none of the other Big Media Tumblrs that I could find display a list of other Tumblrs they keep up with, still, you can paint a pretty good picture based on their reblogging habits: The Huffington Post Tumblr seems to exist for the express purpose of reblogging other Huffington Post subsidiary Tumblrs; The New Yorker reblogs the shit out of its own staff writers; and The Atlantic once courageously parted ways with the hallowed club of elite media to reblog… the founding editor of Gawker.
Meanwhile, outlets like The Paris Review and The Economist are making no attempt whatsoever to engage an audience, using their Tumblrs instead as just another channel for inbound links to their existing websites. Which is fine! Until, of course, that sort of good old fashioned link-whoring gets billed as the second coming of journalism…
Come down from your ivory towers, reblog and interact with us, your unwashed masses.
Here’s an idea: Hire some tumblr natives who are also very familiar with your publications.
I have nothing to say other than that Politico has good taste.
The view from our ivory tower? Freaking beautiful! And we didn’t realize that 3 years as a mostly online publication made us the Established Print Media, but, um that’s cool too.Source: langer
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