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

Mainlining Metrics

Tumblr Users Can Now Get a Real Deal Analytics Platform [UPDATED]

Hipstblr (Photo:

One of the great frustrations of Tumblr has long been the unavailability of rather basic metrics–a major problem for a company that wants to be a hub for the world’s creators and brands, as well as a sophisticated advertising option. (It’s hard to get marketers to do much without offering access to some sweet, sweet ROI metrics.)

Soon, however, all those brands with purdy pages will have access to a real-deal analytics dashboard. That is, if they work with Tumblr’s preferred partner. In an announcement released today, the site has crowned Union Metrics as its preferred analytics provider.   Read More