I'll Tumbl For You
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.
Over the past 32 days my fiancee and I have been running a Kickstarter project. We were trying to raise funds to build a teaching farm on an abandoned lot in Brownsville, Brooklyn. On Tuesday of this week we reached our goal of $23,000 dollars.
I’ve been writing about Kickstarter as a journalist for a while, but using the service myself really changed my perspective on how the company manages to successfully fund an incredible 43 percent of the projects it features on its site.
For a while I was critical of the fact that Kickstarter continued to curate by hand which projects were approved for funding. While the company has seen some incredible growth, at some point it seemed like they would lose their ability to reach web scale. I imagined they would need to take an open approach similar to Etsy if they really wanted to build their business.
But in chatting with our donors, I came to realize this selectivity creates the power of the Kickstarter brand. We received pledges from Australia to Hawaii and back again. A lot of these people had backed a dozen or more projects on Kickstarter. They had diverse interests across music, film, art and food. What they believed in was Kickstarter, and our project was one way of expressing that.