“What advice would Bennett give to a journalist considering a job at a brand-affiliated publication? “Decide if you’re comfortable feeling like a PR person, and if you’re not, make sure you can do content that doesn’t suck. Or just say fuck it and take that $$$$$$,” she says. “No, but seriously, I think it’s possible to create good, compelling content for a brand—and you’ll likely be given the resources to do so, but I think it all depends on the brand and the bosses. One thing to ask: Will your work have to be approved by PR?” Also, be aware that there is a significant culture gap between traditional media companies and tech startups—for better and for worse. “Tumblr has no phones,” Bennett says. “So we get there, and I’m all, ‘I need to do interviews,’ but everyone’s like, ‘Oh, we just use our cellphones.’ This was before they hired a sales team. So I’m conducting interviews on my cellphone, which cuts out constantly, in the hallway in the elevator duct, ‘cause there were also no phone booths. I had Aziz Ansari on the phone one time, and I couldn’t hear a fucking thing he was saying. My phone dies as I’m trying to record it. Ultimately we almost had to kill the interview because it was so bad.” If you do take the leap, don’t expect any more stability than you had at your old-media job. “In the end, Tumblr decided it didn’t work, for reasons we’re not sure of,” Bennett says. “The truth is, I don’t have any regrets about going to work for Tumblr. Getting to experiment in this space—even if it ultimately led to being unemployed after barely a year—was way more exciting than watching budgets shrink, ad pages shrink, and everything else that has happened at old media outlets like Newsweek over the past year.”
UPDATED THE TUMBLRZ.
“The most important thing is to find the thing you’re passionate and focus on it. Passion gives you endless energy to work hard and focus will help you become the best at what you’re doing. We’re big believers in the 10,000 hours rule, and it’s impossible to get there without focus. In regards to making splash, focusing on your own work and your own vision will lead you to what you should be doing rather than looking for a flash-in-the-pan solution or going after what’s popular.”
Tumblr now has MySpace whores
“I look at Tumblr as an ingredient in a bigger recipe,” he says. “Tumblr helps facilitate your search efforts, which in turn drives more traffic to your site. This helps give you an indirect return on investment. Tumblr can also help create another indirect return through engagement.”