To Tumblr or Not to Tumblr

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Technology reporter Jenna Wortham lays out the case for and against Tumblr as the next hot thing in social media in Monday's New York Times. Buried deep in the article are some hard numbers about how much traffic Newsweek's ballyhooed feed sent back to its (monetizable) mother site.

Since Tumblr is currying favor among a young crowd, it could prove valuable for traditional companies and media outlets that are trying to build a relationship with that audience. And those [media] companies are no doubt aiming to win points by being early adopters of a site that is on the rise.

Tumblr is still dwarfed by Facebook and Twitter, which each have hundreds of millions of users and can be significant sources of traffic for online publishers.

Mr. Coatney estimated that posting links and notes to the Newsweek Twitter feed and Facebook page sent roughly 200,000 to 300,000 readers to Newsweek's Web site each day. By comparison, Tumblr sent closer to 1,000. But Tumblr is growing quickly. It says it is adding 25,000 new accounts daily, and each month it serves up 1.5 billion page views.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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