Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have changed the way people interact with the news. More than ever, people are able to respond and even expand on the news, affecting it in their own way. In recognition of this, The Washington Post launched its Tumblr blog, @innovations, yesterday. Tumblr is a blogging site that currently hosts over 14 million blogs.
According to a press release issued by the news organization and posted by Poynter, "@innovations is about what's happening at The Washington Post and journalism in general. It will experiment and be transparent throughout the process, posting explainers about new digital features and asking readers for new ideas."
Tumblr's staff blog reported that more than 160 media organizations are currently using the platform. The Guardian and the Los Angeles Times are among the news organizations that utilize Tumblr. Unlike these other media sites that mainly link to stories from their main websites, The Washington Post's Tumblr gives insights into how the world of journalism is changing and encourages readers to respond. For example, the social media and engagement editor Amanda Zamora will be creating posts on how social platforms are currently affecting the media.
The new blog has the same design as The Washington Post's own site, and directly connects to it. It already contains several posts. One explains The Washington Post's interactive map and how it was created. Another post announces the news organization's intent to document the recession with photos. It invites readers to share their own stories and photos about the recession, thereby becoming an active part of the news.
Tumblr's director/media evangelist Mark Coatney had words of praise for the site, posting on his own blog, "It's a really well-done bit of reporting on the emerging, innovative models of online information gathering and sharing. And it's the best example we've seen of a news organization fully integrating a Tumblr blog into its site; the combination of having the look and features of WashingtonPost.com with Tumblr's community functionality is really nice."