Speaking on a New Yorker-sponsored panel on social media at the Bryant Park Grill this morning, Tumblr founder David Karp explained how companies can use his blogging platform to promote themselves. As with most things Tumblr-related, it turns out the key is feelings. Here’s what he said:
Where I think advertising can surface in a network like Tumblr in a different way is when Newsweek or The New Yorker or the New York Public Library or a celebrity, whoever it is, reaches out and touches someone else on the network in a way that really is tremendously meaningful to them. The way that happens is, I post my photo of what I’m wearing today or an obscure quote I came across on a Wikipedia page — I post this neat thing that I discovered or created — and The New Yorker reblogs it… now that same thing, that little interesting thing and my little witty comment attached to it, are now in front of an audience of millions of eyeballs rather than just my tiny little blog or my little Twitter stream, with all the attribution pointed back to me. So now all of a sudden I’m the most popular guy in the world, thanks to The New Yorker. And, by the way, in addition to all this new attention that they drove to me, it also puts a little stamp on the post that says, ‘Reblogged by The New Yorker,’ with their little logo attached to it. That’s, like, a really powerful, vindicating positive force in our network.
The end result, he said, is that users who have been given this vindication are “enamored” of the brand that did the vindicating.
The panel, entitled “Social Networking: The Great Disruptor,” was moderated by Ken Auletta, and also included Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley and Here Comes Everybody author Clay Shirky. The audience, which consisted of lots of advertisers and a few media reporters, feasted on yogurt parfaits and mini-bagels. Karp was responsible for pretty much all the amusing things that were said– we’ll post each one separately between now and lunchtime.