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.
I was in the gym and I heard like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner and we huddled. We all heard these booming noises, and we started crying. So the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us. Then a police officer told us to run outside.