May 18, 2012
Those who are going to excel in the business world are the people who are innovating on the Internet, according to two young entrepreneurs who did just that.
David Karp, 25, CEO of Tumblr, and Alexis Ohanian, 29, CEO/founder of Reddit, spoke with Shira Lazar at Internet Week New York on Wednesday as part of her weekly live interactive talk show for the digital age, “What’s Trending with Shira Lazar.”
With more than 2 billion page views and 35 million unique users, Reddit is a fast-growing place to go and share links and have discussions, including its popular “Ask Me Anything” features.
“If people stop acting like humans and start acting like marketers, then they will probably fail,” said Ohanian. “The payoffs are huge for real humans.”
He talked about how refreshing it is to find people with a voice who aren’t just pushing and pitching at you.
And to be engaging on Tumblr, Karp said, “Creative media wins and the one with the most innovative strategy wins — people that show up with new creative ideas to media. It’s a real meritocracy.”
Tumblr has become mainstream in the United States as more users have adopted the social tool, and this year, it’s taken off on a global scale, he said. It recently reached 20 billion posts and 50 million hosted blogs.
“Traditional media is extraordinary,” Karp said, adding that the social media platform works with brands and publishers to see what’s working and how they can use the site to grow their businesses. Profiles, lessons, industry news and human stories are exiting now, he said, also citing “The Hunger Games” blog Capital Couture as a successful and creative way to promote the movie and bring characters to life.
As far as the future, Ohanian said that optimizing the mobile Web will continue to be a trend along with visual-driven sites like Pinterest.
And Karp thinks that one of next year’s trends will be creative digital brand advertising. Karp said that he finds the state of digital ads “uninspiring” and that few online advertisers can tell a creative and compelling story.
“The best stories build intent rather than harvest intent,” he said.
Amy Jacques is the managing editor of publications for PRSA. A native of Greenville, S.C., she holds a master’s degree in arts journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Georgia’s Grady College and a certificate in magazine and website publishing from New York University.
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