Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blogging systems hire journalists

A New York Times article today by Brian Stelter describes how major "user-generated content" social networking services like Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook (basically different forms of blogging services, as far as I'm concerned) have begun to hire their own writers and journalists to highlight and promote the different kinds of information their users create.  From the article:
The popular social blogging site Tumblr is hiring writers and editors to cover the world of Tumblr.
Writers and editors will cover the content of Tumblr blogs and their creators, with the idea of keeping users on the site longer.
Chris Mohney, a senior vice president for content at BlackBook Media, will be the site’s editor in chief. Jessica Bennett, a senior writer and editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, will be the executive editor and, she said, a kind of Tumblr correspondent.
“Basically, if Tumblr were a city of 42 million,” Ms. Bennett said, referring to the number of Tumblr blogs that exist, “I’m trying to figure out how we cover the ideas, themes and people who live in it.”
Their work — both documenting the Tumblr service and marketing it to users — will appear on the Web site’s staff blog and on a separate part of that has not been set up yet, a Tumblr spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The moves by Tumblr are one way to tap into all of the free content that users upload to social networking Web sites. Twitter, trying another way, recently created a section of its site that lists stories that are popular among its users, with links to articles and related Twitter messages. And Facebook recently hired Daniel Fletcher, a 2009 graduate of Northwestern University’s journalism school, to be its managing editor.
Of course, this is something that mainstream news sources — as well as other user-generated blogs — have been doing for a long time: mining the blogosphere for interesting insights, provocations, and gossip and appropriating them for their own analytical and promotional purposes.  I suppose having the blog providers themselves do this as well shouldn't be surprising, right?


  1. Brian Stelter’s article, Blogging Site Tumblr Makes Itself the News, introduces a whole new side of the blog scene by essentially making blogging a career. By Tumblr choosing to expand their website and hire employees to document the Tumblr service and market to users, not only will the users be better off, but Tumblr itself will also be better off. Stelter writes, “By creating in-house content, social Web sites can increase the amount of time that users spend on their sites, thereby increasing their value to advertisers.” Creating a staff to further explore the blogs that make up Tumblr will allow the site to highlight and publicize its top blogs which will lead to more users. I think this is a great move on behave of Tumblr because both Tumblr and its users will be benefiting.

  2. I think the concept of this blog post is very interesting. Rather than the specifics of the article, I was intrigued by the broader concept that blogging sites are hiring journalists at all. As mentioned in the beginning of the year, Journalism 176 is supposed to be an intro course into the world of Journalism. Yet, throughout the semester we are expected to work on blogs of our own. I think this aspect of the class encompasses the idea that blogging is now a major part of journalism. In a class all about introducing students to the field, our main project is to blog. For this reason, I thought this blog post was very relevant to our class.


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