When Yahoo purchased Tumblr last year they bought more than a microblogging platform. Through it’s acquisition of Tumblr Yahoo now owns one of the world’s foremost networks of subject matter experts.
Tumblrs (as contributors are called) are masters curators, with deep knowledge of their niche.For those unfamiliar with Tumblr, it’s a blogging platform, content management system and social network that thrives on visual content. Even with 165 million blogs on the platform, Tumblr is somewhat of a cult favorite.
What sets Tumblr apart
Many people use Tumblr as a way to track what’s going on in the world, and stay “in the know.” Although I log into Tumblr on a daily basis (and use it to syndicate this blog), it’s rare that I use Tumblr to share anything original. The extent of my contribution to the community is normally to reblog something someone else has posted, or simply to “like” it.
What makes the Tumblr experience so unique from other social media sites is that you know exactly what to expect when you visit the stream of your favorite curator. Tumblr blogs run the gamut
- Ties and pocket squares
- Black and white photography
- Train graffiti
Anything and everything eventually finds it’s way onto Tumblr.
The Future Journalism Project (whose Tumblr page I helped to kickstart) focuses on news about the news, and how it is brought to the public. This can be new technologies for recording and distributing events, or the laws that make life more or less difficult for reporters bringing important stories to the attention of the public. And once a niche is established, it’s easy to bring more relevant content to the audience that falls outside of strict guidelines. It’s simply a matter of creating trust with the audience.
Curation is what makes Tumblr’s platform so powerful, and the lesson business leaders can heed.
We’re drowning in information. Our brains are wired in such a way that most information is filtered out before we even have a chance to process it. Imagine how confusing the world would be if we could see in the infrared spectrum, and hear the rumbling of an earthquake below our feet. As animals we have evolved to weed out as much information as possible that we have no means to process. Which explains why we need curators
Curators play a vital role
Reliance on experts is one of the shortcuts we’ve come to rely up that helps us make sense of the world’s trove of information. Experts know more than the average person about a topic–they know more than most people–but they don’t know everything. Even someone who “wrote the book,” on their field of inquiry still had to research from primary sources, and conduct interviews with other experts in the field.
Become an expert
When you become an expert you are doing yourself a favor, as well as your community. You put your business at an advantage when you are seen as providers of reliable, actionable news and information about your industry. And your audience benefits when they have a place where they know they can go for insights that will help them make money, and be better prepared to face the challenges of running a company.