The New York Observer's Media Mob reports that two of the most popular news sites on the web have launched Tumblr blogs this week. As of Thursday morning, the NYT had five posts on its new account, which appeared to simply be re-posts of popular NYT articles such as Lynn Hirschberg's controversial M.I.A. profile. But BusinessInsider notes that at some point after 12 p.m., all of the entries were deleted and replaced with a "Coming Soon!" message (next to the NYT's logo). Meanwhile HuffPo's inaugural few posts have been lighthearted, the first expressing love for Tumblr, followed by an iPhone 4 lineup story, and most recently, a photo re-posted from their comedy section.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform launched in 2007 that lets users to post text, images, video, links, quotes, and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. It shares features with Twitter such as the ability to "follow" other users or "reblog" their stories and also has a "like" function similar to Facebook. Tumblr also shares some of their largest investors with Twitter.
The HuffPo's self-professed technology evangelist Ramon Nuez explains why he has become dispassionate about Twitter, in favor of Tumblr. "I find Twitter to be an inadequate authoring platform -- 140 character limit, no URL shortener, failure to manage multiple accounts, inability to post pictures and so forth. I need a more comprehensive micro-blogging platform -- this is where Tumblr excels."
MediaMob's Zeke Turner lists some of the most popular publications to jump onto Tumblr. "The New Yorker, Life, Blackbook and, most prominently, Newsweek." Due to the versatility of the platform, publications have adopted a wide variety of approaches what they choose to write. These approaches vary from republishing content to commenting on articles to original (sometimes crowd-sourced) bite-size stories.
Business Insider uncovered a hint about the NYT's Tumblr plans buried in a November 2009 PBS interview with the NYT's social media editor, Jennifer Preston. "We're going to be doing something interesting very soon with Tumblr," she said. This would suggest that their strategy will perhaps encompass more fresh content than cross-postings from nytimes.com. It appears that popular Boston-based monthly magazine, The Atlantic, intends to start tumbling soon as well.