Tumblr Decides to Layoff Storyboard’s Editorial Team


Tumblr announced this week that it is closing its doors on Storyboard, which the blogging platform created last year in an attempt to feature ideas, themes and people of this massive blogging community.

The announcement came as its CEO David Karp said he couldn’t be happier with what Storyboard accomplished in the past year. However, the layoff would have to happen, freeing up the time of at least three of its editorial staff—Executive Editor Jessica Bennett, Storyboard producer Sky Dylan-Robbins and Editor-in-Chief Chris Mohney.

Creating Stories, Highlighting Profiles

Storyboard was an experimental concept announced last year to personify the people behind Tumblr’s rich blogging community. Karp had said that it was intended to tell the stories of Tumblr creators. He even hired former journalists to run the concept as a proof of how serious the company was in highlighting the interesting stories of these blog creators.

There were hundreds of fascinating stories that got published in the past year. Stories about Hurricane Katrina have been reblogged and liked hundreds of times. There were also interesting features on British boyband One Direction and other pop icons of this time. Stories about restaurants, offbeat places and extreme sports enthusiasts were published too.

Storyboard has truly accomplished what it set out to do—which is to give a glowing profile of these storytellers.

However, the decision to shut down Tumblr didn’t come as a surprise. Although Karp didn’t exactly specify the reasons as to why they decided to close the unit, we can presume that it didn’t generate the kind of interest the company was hoping.

An official of the website said there were significant accomplishments made by Storyboard but again, they were short of explaining what it is that triggered the shutdown. Perhaps, now that the blogging platform is open to advertisers, the Storyboard would probably become a conflict of interest.

It can be remembered that the blogging platform frowned upon putting advertisers on its website before. But now, its profitability can be reached this year, just six years after the site was conceived and shortly after it allowed advertisers. Lee Brown, the company’s head of sales, said the “monetization” will eventually lead the company to a profit this year.

At Home with Mashable

News website Mashable has been a follower of Storyboard since last year. It has helped in producing some stories for the site. It has its own account there as well. A report from Mashable said that Storyboard was a daily read for most of its workers, and that it supported several programs and campaigns that were born out of this concept.

So now that the company decided to lay off its editors, Mashable stands ready to publish pending stories that were slated to come out on Storyboard in the next months. It said that it will be working with its editors to get these stories published. In addition, it has invited some other writers who have already written stories about blog creators on Tumblr to submit their articles to the site. I guess this is a good effort for Mashable to reach out to these talented people and provide a home for their stories.

Sources: CNET and Mashable