All of a sudden everything seems to be getting designated a platform even when the claim is a little weak.
The latest is Tumblr which frankly, if it is anything other than a service provider is a network or maybe, at a stretch, a social network and perhaps, an emerging community (but a very fractured and erratic one). In some ways, Tumblr is like the webring of the 21st century the only difference being that it is nicely designed and ‘ultra-hip’.
Yet Tumblr seems to be attracting a huge amount of interest from media and publishing companies as this Read Write Web blog post makes clear:
“Part of what we do is experiment on different platforms, and it seemed apparent to us that there was a sizable number of NPR fans on Tumblr,” he says. “It’s less about pageviews and more about engaging a community that enjoys NPR.”
Carvin says NPR is taking a very experimental approach to Tumblr in terms of curating content to share, engaging one-on-one with followers and determining how to voice the blog.
He adds that he is eager to get feedback from fans, but that there is no “grand plan” for what they intend to accomplish.
NPR Looks to Engage New Audiences On Tumblr.
Taking the Tumblr plunge is just as stupid as taking the Twitter plunge or the blogging plunge if you haven’t the faintest idea why you are doing it? Why on earth would NPR get involved in this while at the same time admitting that they don’t have a ‘grand plan’?
Sure, experimentation is interesting, valid and worth engaging in, but this kind of shot in the dark stuff reeks of chasing an illusory ‘cool’ crowd.
Tumblr is interesting in its own way and there seems to be some kind of community building there, but Tumblr is NOT the solution for publishers and media companies, their own websites offer so much more opportunity for engaging with audiences, audiences who are coming TO them, not being interrupted BY them. Quite a few publishers could spend some time sorting that side of things out before running off to the next pretty ‘platform’ they see.
Still coughing, which is annoying!