“How Tumblr is Changing Journalism” is a pretty lofty headline to live up to, but what the heck, you only live once and sometimes people think highly of your work. The secret: Embrace it and try to live up to it.
Origin story: shrtfrmblg, circa December 2008
This was the original framework I started with when I built out ShortFormBlog. I e-mailed this to my friends Charles Apple and Megan Lavey asking what they throught, and they both thought it was cool. So I kept building. I’m still building. Yes, the original name didn’t have any vowels. I literally bought the domain with the vowels a day before it launched.
An example of edge-pushing: An idea I’ve been playing with on ShortFormBlog lately involves finding ways to get people to engage more directly with the content. As Tumblr recently launched an update to their slideshow feature which simultaneously made the content more visual and better-organized, I started playing around with the idea of taking breaking news and treating it like a magazine that I updated along with the story. The results were strong — this Tumbl-zine and a separate one about Rupert Murdoch drew thousands of visitors and encouraged active reblogging. Best part? All I needed was InDesign.