Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Head Over Heels For Tumblr

John Mayer says he has left Twitter for Tumblr, and in the process has ignited a mini-firestorm over which site is the future of free expression. I hardly see the need to take sides. It’s classic And/And (further borne out by both T & T having common investors such as Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures).

Twitter is haiku (105 million users doing 140 characters); it’s a brilliant shortform broadcast/distribution tool. Tumblr lets you stretch your legs. Tumblelogs are “a simple new way to share anything you find, love, hate, or create.”

Tumblr is planning to turn its popularity into the folding stuff. The web has come into its own with the rise of social networking (Facebook got to be cashflow positive at 300 million signups). Making and engaging with user-created content has never been easier. But where the guys with critical mass have struggled is in how to monetize their momentum without killing their user experience – something conventional push-based advertising models have made difficult.

Tumblr seems to have caught the spirit of the revolution. Their PR says “the result is often a stream of consciousness of the author. It is one of the easiest and most-elegant ways to create personal expression online.” Their revenue-making model is said to be about participation. Instead of cluttering their famously clean interface with ads they’re planning to sell users customized themes, or stickers that fans can plug on a Tumblr microblog.

I shake my head and say “Good luck” – but with 4.5 million users, and a seriously big billion pageviews per month, they’re onto something... I'm not sure exactly what yet.

1 comment:

Rick Henry said...

The thing about Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or indeed any social revolution is they must try to get those music titles right. Joined the YouTube of that Oz ad mag, BANDTdotcom. They have stated in their blog and Oz print mag that Leo Burnett WWF Space Monkey TVC has already won 2010 Cannes Advertising Film Festival? (Without a word about the Ben Lee music title that is its most important component). How could that be? And Cannes Ad Festival not on yet? Burnett’s Sydney or Nationally on Cannes Lions Judging Panel, so must already be fixed? Do they fix everything in Oz? Melbourne Storm. Salary caps. Advertising Votes. Surely the public and legals do not allow them to anymore? MTV and other music channels, (revolutionary ones like My Space) might not play the Ben Lee song because BANDT incorrectly called it Space Odyssey or Planet of the Apes. Does that BANDT run Cannes and The Record Industry? Does BANDT editorial ever report correctly about important music titles? Is it also true that BANDT and Leo Burnett are taking over The TV Week Oz Logies? Their ad industry most powerful in the world in Oz. Amazing that a few guys in Bondi Beach and St Kilda Avenue can take over all of Oz TV, Film and Record Industry – My goodness, they will take over Social Networking next ;)