Newsweek on Tumblr: Good Effort, Needs More Engagement

Awareness of Newsweek’s Tumblr site has been increasing of late. It’s actually been around for a while but Newsweek seems to have been giving it more attention over the past few months.

Newsweek Tumblr

I like it. The layout is clean and simple, the content is interesting and Newsweek is mixing in plenty of items from other sources. That’s critical for giving the site stand-alone value as opposed to just being a feeder site to Newsweek.com.

In looking through the site though one thing stands out: nearly every item has no comments or reactions:

Newsweek Tumblr user comments

That seems odd but it’s not just a holiday season slowdown. I went back several months and it’s not easy to find items that have gotten comments. I don’t have any data on what kind of traffic the Tumblr site is getting but either it is fairly low or visitors simply aren’t starting discussions there.

To investigate further I did a quick check for Twitter activity. I didn’t find any shared newsweek.tumblr.com URLs through Bit.ly search and TweetMeme isn’t registering any recent activity:

Newsweek Tumblr on TweetMeme

A search right from Twitter doesn’t bring up much but there are some nice comments about the site itself:

Newsweek Tumblr - Twitter real-time results

So based on just this quick look it doesn’t seem like Newsweek is getting a lot of engagement with its Tumblr site yet. Some visitors are likely clicking through to the full articles on Newsweek.com and then commenting there and/or sharing the newsweek.com URLs which is also a good thing. But it would be nice to see the Tumblr site have a more interactive feel.

In terms of search engine visibility, as of today the Tumblr site is #9 in my Google results for “Newsweek” so it’s working its way up. Looks like they need to adjust the META description tag on their home page though:

Newsweek Tumblr Google snippet

UPDATE:
FishbowlNY did a good interview with Mark Coatney, the editor who is responsible for Newsweek’s Tumblr.

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