Tumblr, one of if not the largest blogging and curation platform on the web, today launched a new way to explore content by topic and discover the most popular Tumblr users on the hot topics of the day. Called Tumblr Explore, the feature is intended to make the huge quantity of content on the site easier to navigate and new content easier to discover. The company also framed the feature in its announcement as a way for users to get more readers on their own blogs.
Who's the hottest Tumblr on the topic of food right now, for example? That would be Rachel Lauren Spence, author of SheSalty. Egypt and Libya are newly hot topics and the most popular curator across the Tumblr network on both those topics is Joshua Nguyen, who just happens to work for Tumblr. Six of the twenty six hottest blogs on the hottest topics listed on Tumblr Explore right now are written by Tumblr staff members.
In the contest to determine what the best recommendation and discovery method of a content-stuffed web is, score one vote here for recent media by popular topic, followed by content curators with the most popular history of curation or content creation.
It appears there's no single human editor of Tumblr Explore, nor is there a way to surface the most popular content on a particular topic. It's all one big vote on topics and people and from that vote follows the most recent stream of what's new. It's very different from the way content is surfaced on sites like Reddit or Techmeme. Will it work well? Time will tell, but it's sure to be fun to wander through.