Thursday, January 17th, 2013
14

'Newsweek' Takes Bold Stance Against Tumblr's Struggle for Profit

The Tumblr of Newsweek, which still exists, unlike Newsweek, and which is run by the DailyBeast "senior editor for social media," announced a new policy yesterday. "You pin, we unfollow" was the communiqué—by "pinning" they mean the Tumblr commerce initiative wherein, for a small fee, one can make a Tumblr post "adhere" to the top of each follower's dashboard until each follower "clicks" upon the post to make it disappear. (By "unfollow," they meant that they would no longer choose to receive said pinners' posts in their dashboard.) "The pins are like dashboard cockroaches. Turn on the lights every morning and unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin," the Tumblr explained.

Newsweek—do I still need to be typing italics tags by hand around Newsweek now that it is no longer a magazine?—rowed back this policy shortly after some fun and gif-games. And after a lot of people called them names. ("Hey, idiots, I think you guys are the ones who need all the followers you can get," wrote the Huffington Post's Jason Linkins.) All in all, it was a brave brief stand against unusual user-side monetization techniques. But that's all over now.

Newsweek's Tumblr also employs a javascript that transforms the reader's cursor into a mustache.

14 Comments / Post A Comment

dietcock@twitter (#64,482)

GREATEST INTERJECTION OF 2013: "– do I still need to be typing italics tags by hand around Newsweek now that it is no longer a magazine?"

Matt (#26)

asks The Awl.

hershmire (#233,671)

My God, I'm getting old. I have no idea what's going on here. What the hell is pinning and why should I be concerned about Newsweek disliking it?

Azophi (#240,886)

@hershmire Me too! I'm only twenty-two and this is one of the most arcane things I've read in a long time.

I missed the Tumblr boat but I thought I'd have a grip on how it works generally. I clearly do not.

hershmire (#233,671)

@Azophi You have made me a very happy 29-year-old.

Also, this seems to explain… something. http://mashable.com/2012/06/28/tumblr-pinned-posts-ad/

Azophi (#240,886)

@hershmire Merci, it has helped in some way but I don't know how.

So, were Newsweek (no italics) unfollowing people who were pinning things to their (Newsweek's) dashboard, or were Newsweek's writers… ah, you know, I don't know if I care enough.

Still, this feels like something I should know, lest I become the next Tina Brown.

@Azophi, @hershmire : You're not going to get any more salt out of that saltshaker no matter how many times you shake it.

Alternate take : Yes, I know the baby loves it, and I know you catch him every time, but don't you think it's awful dangerous?

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Goto Tengo@facebook (#232,749)

What I learned here: italicization is a magazine's soul, and when it loses its italicization, you know it's dead, like the lack of a mirror reflection for the undead. A possible supernatural variation of How To Lose Friends and Alienate People will feature an editor at a magazine that's supposedly high-profile and successful, but which no one seems to read: the editor then notices that the few times his magazine is written about, it is never italicized. And that his publisher is actually an insane super-villain.

Jasmine (#8)

NO FETTERS EVER. Just had to get that out today.

messica (#234,148)

I made fun of that very mustache cursor once when I was complaining about the content of the Newsweek tumblr, and the Newsweek tumblr posted it to the Newsweek tumblr. And I received three anonymous messages of hate!

I guess I could put being the person who inspired the great Newsweek anti-abortion coat hanger cursor through mockery, but Newsweek.

It is not JavaScript, it is CSS. Please post a correction, Choire.

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