Call it a snake eating its own tail or a smart take on objectively monitoring a particularly under-served area of the internet, but social blog service Tumblr raised eyebrows yesterday with the news that it was hiring two writers to write about Tumblr and its communities.
The two writers — Chris Mohney, SVP of content for BlackBook Media and Jessica Bennett, senior writer and editor for Newsweek and The Daily Beast — will be reporting on various content and conversations appearing on the almost 44 million blogs powered by the company. Bennett likened it to a virtual journalistic beat: “Basically, if Tumblr were a city of 42 million, I’m trying to figure out how we cover the ideas, themes and people who live in it.”
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The work will exist to report on and market Tumblr (although Mohney said that their writing will be more about “demonstrating the potential of this nascent creative population than simplistic or forced attempts at corporate boosterism”), and will be posted on both the official Tumblr staff blog and a new Tumblr site that has yet to be created, according to a company spokesperson. Readers can expect “real journalism and analysis” from the new site, Tumblr vice president Andrew McLaughlin told the New York Times, “not PR fluff”:
Of course, it’s obviously in our self-interest as a company to surface more compelling stories about creators on Tumblr; at the same time, though, we think Chris and Jessica will be able to do so in ways that embody professional rigor and first-rate writing.
So far, Tumblr’s staff blog hasn’t announced the addition of Mohney and Bennett, nor has the company announced a launch date for the new service. Everyone with a Tumblr who’s been planning a newsworthy post: Hold off for the foreseeable future, just in case.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.