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Tumblr Shuts Down Their One Attempt to Rise Above the Noise



storyboardSocial media has a higher than average noise to signal ratio. For every truly creative or informative blip, there are thousands of useless blurbs, nasty retorts, misinformed mentions and lots and lots of spam. Tumblr is like this. You can skim through page after page of duplicate celebrity photos, bad manips and overused pictures of animals making funny faces. If you keep digging, you will find a few gems like Restaurant-Restaurant (a man who turns restaurant stationary into art) and Last Book I Loved. These are the kinds of Tumblrs that made it to the Storyboard and now Tumblr is shutting it down.

Storyboard was an experiment. A team of journalists and editors conducted interviews and wrote thoughtful articles about the creative souls who did more than just reblog photos on Tumblr. They wrote about artists and indie filmmakers and designers and everyday folks with a unique point of view. It was a beautiful way to give credit to those people who rose about the noise.

Storyboard was a success (with award nominations and everything) but it has “run its course.” Seriously, that’s the line CEO David Karp used in his post.

What we’ve accomplished with Storyboard has run its course for now, and our editorial team will be closing up shop and moving on. I want to personally thank them for their great work. And please join us in wishing them well.

Tumblr referred to Storyboard as its home for original journalism. So, Tumblr is done with journalism “for now” ? That’s sad on so many levels.

Food critic Ryan Sutton of The Bad Deal had this to say:

Journalism is at a crossroads right now. It’s never been the most profitable of business models. We hope that the good people at Tumblr, who have been in immensely generous in giving a voice to us at The Bad Deal and The Price Hike, will come to see the value in producing editorial content, in giving good work to good journalists, and in helping to foster an ailing industry that’s the one of the backbones of our global community.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The post that hurt the most, was from a young writer who was about to post her first piece to Storyboard.

A week or so ago I turned in my first piece for Storyboard, a profile of Chris Gethard and The Chris Gethard Show. Storyboard shut down last night. I was excited about writing my first long feature piece in two years, and excited to write a profile of a comedy show where . .  the audience asks questions on suicide and antidepressants and anxiety. . . .I heard Storyboard shut down I felt terrible, and embarrassed that I had wasted the time of everyone involved, and I just sat and cried (and watched the Knicks get the Atlantic division title) and cried. Now that I think about it, that’s exactly the ending I deserve for thinking it would be funny to do a profile of a comedy show that starts and ends with people weeping.

I feel for her and every writer who ever had a publishing rug pulled out from under them.

There has to be room for journalism on the internet and there has to be a way to get people to pay for it. I’m not hating on photographers but we owe the world more than six rows of photos with three lines of text.

I wonder what would happen if we created a social media site that was text only – no photos or video allowed. It would probably be a very quiet place. Sigh.

  • http://twitter.com/CrackMarketing Crack Marketing

    This is sad, just sad…

  • nima