Pop Goes Art – my 20th cen, arts, architecture, film, music Jux blog

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Over the last month or so I have been messing around with the new Jux blogging format. Basically it is a little like Tumblr but allows you to use much bigger images. I also think it is simpler to use than Tumblr too.

The blog, tentatively titled Pop Goes Art, is dedicated to all things from the 30s to the 60s including art, architecture, film, music and anything else that fits the template.

It is starting to get a little traffic now, especially the longer posts like these.

The five most beautiful airports http://www.jux.com/surround/global/users/%27popgoesart%27/wd_quarks#/%27www38%27

The strange tale of Genevieve Waite – http://www.jux.com/surround/global/users/%27popgoesart%27/wd_quarks#/%27www34%27

Las Vegas’ Glass Pool Inn http://www.jux.com/surround/global/users/%27popgoesart%27/wd_quarks#/%27www29%27

Claudine Longet – the sexiest voice ever http://www.jux.com/surround/global/users/%27popgoesart%27/wd_quarks#/%27www4%27

There are lot of good things about Jux, but also some bad ones (no comments, no search engine traffic etc) but it has been a fun experiment.

Pop Goes Art – my new blog on @Jux (like Tumblr on steroids)

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Love Posterous, never bothered with Tumblr, but I do think that a new screen (that’s the iPad) needs a new blogging format and that could well be Jux.

There’s loads wrong with it (it is a bit flaky, you can’t even add links, don’t ask about visitor numbers). But it looks amazing, especially on the iPad.

Anyway here’s my effort. www.popgoesart.jux.com Now go and create your own.

More here – http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2011/08/jux_just_what_y.html

btw – that’s Francois Hardy and France Gall

Why media brands have gone crazy for blogging platform Tumblr

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There’s an interesting feature at Mashable http://mashable.com/2010/10/03/news-media-tumblrs/#The-Economist which lists about 30 or so media brands that now have blogs on the platform of the moment – Tumblr. They range from serious stuff like Newsweek through to more edgy blogs from the likes of Vice and Buzzfeed. There’s also a few Brits namely Future Mags’ Total Film and The Economist.

Anyhow today we sat in the Sutro Digital office and tried to work out why media brands are all over Tumblr. It is especially curious as 1 The blogs aren’t monetised in any way and 2 They generally aren’t stuffed with links to the media brand’s mothership.

So why the proliferation of Tumblr media blogs?

1 Tumblr is oh so hip. Blogging platforms haven’t been cool for a while, Tumblr has attracted a young, creative and quite probably very influential audience.

2 Tumblr gives media brands a chance to engage with their fans on more neutral territory – There’s a real community in Tumblr, more so than its rival of sorts Posterous. Tumblr users have welcomed media brands’ recognition of their space on the web and have been forthcoming in reading the blogs and engaging with the owners.

3 The Tumblr blogs take readers behind the scenes – The blogs show images of news rooms, content that didn’t make the main mag/website, informal videos of staff. If you are a media junkie this stuff is compelling.

4 The blogs are image and video lead – Last week Nick Denton was talking about how he feels that video and images are the future of blogging, perhaps more than words. Tumblr blogs look great as they tend to be designed to make the most of striking images. Media companies create a lot of images and Tumblr is the perfect place for them.

Personally I am not entirely sure how long the trend will last. Tumblr is not the new Twitter, and besides there is a strong argument for media companies placing that ancillary content on a site where millions could see it – Facebook. It is however clearly a trend to keep an eye on.

Incidentally I searched in vain for brands doing anything interesting on Tumblr. Which is odd because the Sutro team has got some great ideas for branded Tumblr blogs. If you are a brand who want to experiment with Sutro Digital in this space give me a shout. Check out the Sutro site sutrodigital.com

Has Gawker signalled the death knell for blogging?

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There’s a bit of a media kerfuffle this morning about whether Gawker Media has killed blogging. The story, which you can read here, http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/gawker-media-redesign-20233 focuses on the way that the network’s new designs for their websites look much more like old school destination sites than they do traditional blogs.

It kind of begs the question what actually is a blog anyway? Much of blogging’s distinctive design features went a long time ago when classy WordPress themes like Revolution Theme became popular.

Personally I think the distinction between blog and website is not around design. Rather it is around money. Media companies, both new-ish ones like Gawker and old-ish ones like AOL are producing websites that have a heritage that stems from the great blog explosion of 2003/4, but have long since left notions of traditional blogging behind. By that I mean they are written by multiple users, are commercially driven and increasingly focus on producing long tail content.

At Shiny we stopped using the words blog to describe what the websites we are producing over a year ago. Our current designs still have a blog like element, but they too have many features that are culled from more established websites.

So what has prompted the Gawker (and indeed Shiny) move?

1 More page impressions (and therefore more ad money) – traditional blogs gave too much content away and had a low yield of page impressions per user. Interestingly Nick Denton says its metric for success is about users rather than page views, but with a wobbly economy publishers are still very much focussed on page views for now.

2 Changing ideas about design – Websites are increasingly using big, powerful images on their sites, the old blog format didn’t cater for these very well.

3 The need to showcase big stories – To underline to new readers that the website has has lots of great posts – again the old blogging templates didn’t do this especially well

4 The need to highlight evergreen/commercial content – Websites need somewhere that longer stories can be housed. Also brands are looking more closely at integration within websites. The option of having branded content that looks attractive and is in a prominent position within a website is something that appeals to both brands and publishers.

Finally the class of 2003-2005 (Gawker, Weblogs, Mashable, TechCrunch etc) are becoming the new mainstream media. Unlike others within the publishing industry they have developed business plans that actually work, while older media brands wither and die, they will continue to go from strength to strength.

Future of blogging becoming a very hot topic. Has Twitter killed it?

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Really interesting to see this post http://mashable.com/2009/07/07/future-of-blogging/ from Edelman SVP Steve Rubel on Mashable about the future of blogging.

I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now and am going to add my twopennyworth shortly.

For what it’s worth I don’t think that Twitter will kill blogging. It has shaped blogging in that many posts are much shorter now, however I see Twitter as a mini personalised RSS feed shooting me all the blog posts I need to read.

Also I think it is a very dull person who can condense their thoughts into 140 charactars, and even a duller world where no one has more than a few words to say about each topic.