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Tumblr Reportedly Plans to Talk COO/Babysitter Candidates at Today’s Board Meeting

He's staring at a large pile of money, shimmering in the distance like an oasis.

Sounds like it’s a big day for the little GIF engine that could. Business Insider reports that Tumblr has a board meeting this afternoon. On the agenda: sorting through COO candidates, plus a chat about revenue and maybe even hitting up the VC ATM for more investment.

Business Insider reports there are two final candidates in the running for the position of COO, and board member Roelof Botha is meeting with one of them this morning so the team can discuss. For what it’s worth, Mr. Botha: seems like almost anyone who considers profitability an important metric would be a valuable addition. Read More

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Storyboard Speaks: Laid-Off Tumblr Staffers Discuss David Karp’s Decision


Earlier this week, Tumblr CEO David Karp took the stage at PaidContent Live for a panel called “Tumblr and the Future of Media.” It was a poignant title considering that one of the topics discussed was Mr. Karp’s recent, rather brusque blog post announcing the end of Storyboard, a high-profile editorial experiment that hired journalists to write features or film documentary video about Tumblr’s community of “creators.”

For example, this Storyboard piece about a photojournalist documenting a gang truce in El Salvador (on his Tumblr) was published by Mother Jones. One about activists and feminists using nail art (and the growing subculture on Tumblr) was produced in partnership with the Daily Beast. Read More

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Tumblr’s David Karp Apparently Doesn’t Consider Profitability a Particularly Important Metric

Man with the plan? (Photo: Twitter/SuccessMag)

When you’re as stylish as Tumblr CEO David Karp, who needs to sweat the small stuff? Case in point: his company’s profitability. During an interview at a conference hosted by paidContent, he informed the audience that Tumblr isn’t making money—but it’s “not a metric that is particularly important to us.”

But don’t panic, investors: Mr. Karp added that the company will “absolutely” become profitable, eventually. At some point. Read More

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And Here is Tumblr’s New L.A. Office Space. Time to Sell Some Ads!

Probably not the key to a new castle on the moon.  (via)

Well, well: Looks like even as Tumblr was shuttering Storyboard, the company was getting ready to begin another chapter on the sunny West Coast. Yesterday, the company’s head of sales, Lee Brown, posted several photos of an unfurnished building.

“Tumblr LA office open!!!” he captioned it. It looks just like every startup space in Soho–except for the rays, of course.

Smack in the center of the lead photo, holding up a key, is wunderkind CEO David Karp. It doesn’t seem like Mr. Karp lingered to answer questions from employees re: what was up with that Storyboard shutdown. Read More

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String of Executive Departures Leaves a Leadership Vacuum at the Top of Tumblr

david karp

Late Tuesday night, while most of New York City was “afk” enjoying the balmy weather, Tumblr CEO David Karp snuck a post onto the staff blog paying tribute to Storyboard–a team of journalists and editors assigned to “cover Tumblr as a living, breathing community.”

After gushing with pride over Storyboard’s many accolades, Mr. Karp pivoted, abruptly. The year-old concept “had run its course” and the editorial team, he announced, “will be closing up shop and moving on.” Please, he asked, “join us in wishing them well.”

But the Storyboard layoffs, which affected three staffers peripheral to internal operations, are hardly the only departures Tumblr has faced over the past six or seven months. Rather, they’re the only ones Mr. Karp has spoken about publicly. Read More

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Tumblr Kills Storyboard; Editorial Employees Will Be ‘Moving On’

He's staring at a large pile of money, shimmering in the distance like an oasis.

We’ve seen some late-afternoon news dumps, but this takes the cake: Tumblr CEO David Karp just announced that the company is shutting down Storyboard, the editorial experiment meant to highlight the work of the social network’s much-touted “creators.”

Even though Tumblr “couldn’t be happier with our team’s effort,” Mr. Karp wrote that, “What we’ve accomplished with Storyboard has run its course for now.” The 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,” he added. Read More

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Petition for Tumblr to Stop ‘Alienating Their Entire Userbase’ Gets More Than 18,000 Signatures

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 4.33.26 PM

Late last week, David Karp announced a number of changes to Tumblr triumphantly billed as “An upgrade, years in the making…” In order to make room for “BIG new” features, such as customizable drag-and-drop photoset creation, faster uploads, and inline reblogging, he said, “we’ve reduced creation on Tumblr to its essence, while carrying over every single feature.”

But a number of Tumblr users–more than 18,000 of them, in fact–don’t see the change as an improvement. They’ve signed a petition on Change.org–a platform more typically used to advocate for social justice–to “Undo the 1/24/2013 update that screwed up the posting procedure.” Read More

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Tumblr Shamed ‘For Desecration of the American Way of Life’ by New York City Carpenters Union

Screen shot 2012-12-17 at 11.06.25 AM

There is currently an inflatable rat stationed outside Tumblr’s offices on 35 East 21st Street, according to one of the building’s occupants. The New York City District Council of Carpenters has installed the familiar oversized rodent as a symbol of what the union calls a “labor dispute” with Tumblr.

Matthew Schmitz, a deputy editor at First Things, which has an office near Tumblr’s, reported the dispute on Twitter, posting a photo of a flyer being handed out this morningRead More


Tech Insurgents 2012: Rick Webb

Mr. Webb

The Undercover Ad Man

Of all the “if you build it, they will come,” social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr seemed the most advertising-averse. Floppy-haired founder David Karp memorably betrayed a visceral distaste for the stuff. It “really turns our stomachs,” he said in 2010, following that up with a vow not to become “wildly profitable” by slapping an AdSense ad on the otherwise elegant dashboard of all 80 million Tumblr blogs. But it seems as though the microblogging site’s methodical approach toward making money has paid off—thanks in part to guidance from Rick Webb, a 20-year veteran of the ad industry and co-founder of digital consultancy Barbarian Group, who was attracted to Tumblr for its aversion to the “crap” ads that permeate the web. Read More