Hoffman thought about it for a second, and then talked about how Capote was 35 when he started reporting the story that became In Cold Blood, and how there comes a time in every man’s life, around your mid-thirties, when you start to ask yourself, Have I done the great thing I was supposed to do? Am I ever going to do it?
This is me every Monday morning, as I turn 35 in a few months.
In Turkey as elsewhere in the Middle East, the explosion of Internet-based media outlets has surpassed the ability of the government to control information completely. When Nazli Ilicak, a longtime journalist here, lost her job recently at the pro-government newspaper Sabah after emerging as a strong voice against the government’s handling of the corruption inquiry, she said she would simply keep up her criticism on Twitter and on independent websites. “I have 500,000 followers,” she said in a recent television appearance. “That’s more than Sabah’s circulation.”
Jessica in the middle of one of her interviews with a Tumblr creator.
I’ve always wanted to be a journalist - and after middle school daydreams and college writing courses and a brief stint as a wannabe travel writer in 2006, I realized what a tough business it was and quit.
But my love for the craft of long-form journalism stuck, and in the last year, the rise of editorial teams within large tech platforms heralded a possible new age where original content and user-generated content could have co-existed. Twitter Stories, Facebook Stories and Tumblr Storyboard all tried to mine what their communities were doing.
Except Tumblr was different. More than just a mouthpiece that relayed how these platforms made users lives better, Storyboard had bonafide journalistic credentials: they were reporting on what people were doing creatively and were not just marketing case studies.
And Storyboard exemplified — perhaps in a vaccum of 2012 — how Tumblr thought of itself: not just as a technology platform, not just a user-generated content community, but in interviews and logo design and pitches and blog posts, as a place for creators. Tumblr always aspired to be the intersection between tech and liberal arts, using a well-designed technological foundation to spur humanity’s creative output. It’s that ambitious. It’s one of the reasons I loved being part of the team. More than just a platform for self-expression, Tumblr wanted to be a platform for creativity.
People like to say that print media didn’t adapt to online demand, but that’s only part of it. The corporate folks who manage newspapers tried to comply with the whims of a thankless audience with a microscopic attention span. And newspaper staffers tried to comply with the demands of a thankless establishment that often didn’t even read their work. Everyone lost.