parislemon

parislemon:

Om Malik on the recent movement away from Facebook’s centralized way of doing things:

You can see this cycle through the entire history of the commercial Internet. The original web was so sparse (but also so slow to navigate) that Yahoo was started as a guide of worthwhile sites because it wasn’t easy to flit among web pages. Yahoo’s directory proved popular, and sensing opportunity, the company added all sorts of new features: search, chat, email, stock tickers, sports, news, personals, e-commerce, and photos. By the late 1990s, Yahoo had become the grand aggregator, its pages as cluttered as a Canal Street stall. This created an opening for Google, with its bare-bones home page that held only a search box and company logo. With the rise of broadband, which made it easy to jump around, the web became disaggregated and brought with it focused, functional tools such as Skype and YouTube.

Fast-forward to today and replace ­Yahoo with Facebook. Facebook showed us the value of aggregating all of those small chunks of information, including photos and status updates, that we wanted to consume on the now dynamic and interactive web. That single string of updates, known as News Feed, was a brilliant product that powered the company’s rise from 2006 to 2011. Then along came Instagram and its peers, born for a generation that doesn’t know how to live without an always-on connection. They facilitate new online behaviors that have been invented for a world of touch and mobile. These apps were designed to be great at just one or two things. The tech world had swung back to being simple, lightweight, and fast—at precisely the same time that Facebook feeds were becoming so bloated and complicated.

Yep, it’s cyclical. And this is also why Facebook is now working to unbundle its own services, to distance itself from the cluttered mess it has become — before it’s too late.

This is really interesting because one of the best things — the core thing — about Tumblr is its refusal to specialize in any one media like photos or links or tracks or text or video. Sure, it’s great at photos, but its insistence on being a compendium of all these things… much like Facebook… is it’s strength and secret sauce.

I wonder how it will fare in this new decentralized world, if indeed the talking heads are to be believed. Also interesting is Twitter’s ongoing experiment to aggregate photos and text and (failed) music and video (w Vine)… it doesn’t fit neatly into this narrative of unbundling.

One dude who deserves more airtime: @jcb was the early designer, frontend, backend, OG, #5 staffer, do-it-all glue that made Tumblr what it was in the formative years. Super talented and so humble that he’ll never brag about himself and will let others take the spotlight. And he’s super nice! I’ve seen him pull together some amazing features without breaking a sweat. I’ve missed working with Jacob a lot.

One dude who deserves more airtime: @jcb was the early designer, frontend, backend, OG, #5 staffer, do-it-all glue that made Tumblr what it was in the formative years. Super talented and so humble that he’ll never brag about himself and will let others take the spotlight. And he’s super nice! I’ve seen him pull together some amazing features without breaking a sweat. I’ve missed working with Jacob a lot.


I came to the job as a fan. I had emailed Tumblr on a whim, telling them of my admiration and absolute belief that it was going to be the next big thread in the social fabric of the Internet:
“As I find myself discovering daily Tumblr awesomeness, I thought, “This is exactly the place where I want to help build and make better.””
A few months later, John called me on the phone while I was in Argentina and a few weeks later, I met David and the team and instantly felt at home.

I wrote a Medium thingy.
(via What I gained from working at Tumblr)

I came to the job as a fan. I had emailed Tumblr on a whim, telling them of my admiration and absolute belief that it was going to be the next big thread in the social fabric of the Internet:

“As I find myself discovering daily Tumblr awesomeness, I thought, “This is exactly the place where I want to help build and make better.””

A few months later, John called me on the phone while I was in Argentina and a few weeks later, I met David and the team and instantly felt at home.

I wrote a Medium thingy.

(via What I gained from working at Tumblr)

david
(photo via david)

Congrats Tumblr team.  This is one of my favorite moments from the early days.

Lots of thoughts about my two former companies coming together - excitement, wariness, expectant, hopefulness — but just today, I’m simply grateful to have worked with amazing and talented friends who dedicated themselves to the task of making the world a more expressive place.

The road ahead is paved with the best intentions.

(photo via david)

Congrats Tumblr team. This is one of my favorite moments from the early days.

Lots of thoughts about my two former companies coming together - excitement, wariness, expectant, hopefulness — but just today, I’m simply grateful to have worked with amazing and talented friends who dedicated themselves to the task of making the world a more expressive place.

The road ahead is paved with the best intentions.

David is very charming, and clearly very very bright, and understands the product,” said an executive who talked to Tumblr about the role. But, “he’s incredibly confrontation averse, and there’s almost a ‘Game of Thrones’ palace feeling to the management team.

Will Yahoo Try to Get Its “Cool Again” by Doing a Deal for Tumblr?

Oh god, as someone who worked for both Yahoo and Tumblr — I am at a loss for words. And who’s this ‘source’ with this crazy quote?  It just makes me start putting roles to people: Joffrey, Sansa — who the heck is Tyrion?!

Keep on shipping cool stuff, guys!

PS I love how this executive who shall not be name threw in the word “incredible” in there. 

WTF happened to Tumblr’s logged out page?
Proportions of logo, copy and fields are all off. I’m hoping that this resulted from some hardcore funnel/metrics analysis. Otherwise it looked like marketing threw up on what was such a clean and elegant design.
Also - interesting to note that the copy is much more geared towards a mass market approach vs a ‘creators’ network. And who the fuck cares about ‘blogs’ in 2013?

WTF happened to Tumblr’s logged out page?

Proportions of logo, copy and fields are all off. I’m hoping that this resulted from some hardcore funnel/metrics analysis. Otherwise it looked like marketing threw up on what was such a clean and elegant design.

Also - interesting to note that the copy is much more geared towards a mass market approach vs a ‘creators’ network. And who the fuck cares about ‘blogs’ in 2013?

But David held firm. He wanted Tumblr to be a positive place on the Internet. The entire design of the service was with that in mind. There were loves (upvotes) but no downvotes. If you wanted to talk about someone’s post, you had to reblog it to your tumblog and then add whatever you wanted to say. David thought that would eliminate trolling.

A VC: Great Entrepreneurs Will Listen To You But Will Follow Their Own Instincts

Also: David has held firm on any features around chat or messaging that veers too much into email (sometimes the lonely voice of dissent). And Tumblr is the better for it. Holding firm to your vision is one of the top 2 lessons I ‘borrowed’ from David when I worked at Tumblr.

Obvious prediction: Tumblr and Flipboard will start to meet in a middle ground at some point as their product converges. Both are social content experiences based heavily on curation as the juice around engagement. The interesting thing to me is that they’re approaching the same problem from quite different perspectives.

Let’s not forget Facebook, either.

It was good, Storyboard

image

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.

Read More

Tumblr proves that the issue is less about public vs. private and more about whether you are findable and identifiable by people who actually know you in real life.

Tumblr Is Not What You Think | TechCrunch

Disagree with the overview of what the Tumblr community comprises, but with regards to privacy models and product development: YES. Spot on. In other words, make things simple, stupid.

Actually, the more accurate quote would be:

Tumblr proves that the issue is less about public vs. private and more about whether you are findable and identifiable by people who you care about. [emphasis mine]