A few weeks ago we reported on the glut of traditional media publishers that are seemingly flocking to the wildly popular micro-blogging service Tumblr. Now it seems Tumblr is also attracting the employees of these media outlets. Mark Coatney, editor at Newsweek and the man behind the magazine’s Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook accounts, has announced he is leaving the publication to join the Tumblr team.
Coatney says the decision was obviously a difficult one for him to make, but that Tumblr, to him, represents the future of publishing. “One of the reasons I’ve long been interested in online journalism is in the ways it can be, in a way no other medium can, a two-way communication between writer and reader; Tumblr is one of the best ways I’ve seen to accomplish that,” he wrote on his Tumblelog today.
Coatney’s new position will be to be a liaison for other media publications that want to extend their reach on Tumblr the way companies like Newsweek, The New Yorker and The New York Times have. His philosophy is that editors should not simply be shameless self-promoters, but should instead leverage these various platforms to engage with their communities at the personal level.
The move to Tumblr is a clear sign that the micro-blogging service is very interested in helping traditional media find a new voice online. For Coatney, this isn’t the first time he’s shifted gears in his media career. Before joining Newsweek, he worked as a writer and editor for Time Magazine, where he also helped to create the first iteration of Time.com.