Taking a Tumble

Former Tumblr Fashion Director Rich Tong Has a New Startup: Fohr Card

Mr. Tong (Photo: LinkedIn)

When last we heard from Richard Tong, Tumblr’s beleaguered fashion director was exiting his role as an ambassador to fashion brands for something much more “entrepreneurial.” A source pointed us to Mr. Tong’s LinkedIn page, which he updated this month, listing himself as the founder of a startup called Fohr Card. The company’s website is password-protected, noting only that it’s “A Stairbear Production by Rich Tong, James Nord and Holly Star.” Read More

Taking a Tumble

Tumblr Taps Bloggers for New York Fashion Week: Take Two!

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On Tumblr’s staff blog today, the company kicked off  New York Fashion Week by announcing a partnership with Milk Studios to cover the event . The post was written was Matt Hackett, Tumblr’s former VP of engineering who switched over to head of brand strategy & marketing in September. Milk Studios is a photography studio and conglomerate of “seven companies that stand at the intersection of fashion, photography, art, and film.”

As part of the partnership, Milk Studios put together a team of five “local emerging voices in fashion from Tumblr to cover the events,” to cover the events. Tumblr has set up a home base for all Fashion Week coverage using an NYFW tag, or you can follow these five bloggers on their individual Tumblrs: Alex, Bryant, Chloe, Lucie and Miguel. Katherine Barna, Tumblr’s head of communications, told Betabeat by phone that this is the third season in a row Tumblr is partnering with Milk Studios.

Betabeat was the first to break the news that during New York Fashion Week in September at least a couple fashion brands were extremely distraught over the way Tumblr handled attempts to monetize the semi-annual event. At the time, a proposal was leaked detailing Tumblr’s plans to sell ads and exposure to willing brands: Read More

Taking a Tumble

No SoupSoup For You: Tumblr’s David Karp Has No Regrets

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Reuters social media editor Anthony “SoupSoup” DeRosa is an avid Tumblr user who recently walked away from the platform in frustration after one too many problems with the service. He published a long piece today about the ways in which Tumblr is working to manage its massive growth and got an interview with Tumblr founder David Karp.

As has been the case in Tumblr’s dealing with fallout from Rich Tong’s fashion week proposal and conflicts with the developer behind the popular extension Missing e, Mr. Karp offered no apologies for the way his company was coping with its growing pains. Read More

Taking a Tumble

The Legal Risks of Rich Tong’s Tumblr Fashion Week Proposal

Rich Tong

Yesterday Betabeat broke the news that Tumblr fashion director Rich Tong was hoping to get big brands to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for product placement and branded content from Tumblr’s “select bloggers”.

In essence, Tumblr was acting like a talent agency, promising work from a group of writers who use their platform. The proposal offered 15 posts with the “content to be agreed upon prior to the start of the week”. For $10,000 the brands could get some face time with the bloggers at a private party and for a negotiable price brands could get product placement from all 20 select bloggers.

Betabeat has learned however, that Tumblr had no formal contract with any of these bloggers. In fact, the bloggers Betabeat spoke with had no idea their services were being promised, no clue about the terms of the proposal and were blissfully ignorant that Tumblr was asking to be paid hefty sums for their work. Read More

Taking a Tumble

The Fashion Industry Wants Tumblr to Get its Fucking Act Together

What me worry?

Tumblr is reportedly in the midst of raising its biggest round to date, bumping the company’s valuation to a whopping $800 million. But while Tumblr has great growth to go along with this funding, it still has almost no revenue, outside of the chump change it collects on paid themes and the partnerships it has with established industries.

One of Tumblr’s biggest success stories thus far has been its relationship with the fashion industry. Tumblr had its bloggers featured during fashion week. Big brand and startups have both invested heavily in the platform. For some startups, Tumblr is the audience network on which they built their business.

But patience is starting to wear thin, even among Tumblr’s fashionable fans. Many are tired of being asked to pay for sponsorships, especially when they would rather be investing in basic analytical tools which Tumblr seems unable or unwilling to deliver.  Read More

Stop The Tumblrs

Gaga’s Day-Old Tumblr Has More than 26 K. Notes

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Tumblr’s servers must be quivering in fear. Lady Gaga, one of the most-followed people on Twitter, just joined Tumblr, the start-up’s fashion director Rich Tong announced yesterday. Ms. Gaga tested the water by tumbling seven posts in a row, but hasn’t mentioned her new blog on Twitter or added a link to her website. Maybe she’s trying to give Tumblr some breathing room before her fans crash the company’s servers like they did Amazon.