The Lively Morgue: A Great Example Of How (And Why) To Use Tumblr

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Trying to find inspiration for your company’s use of Tumblr? Check out The Lively Morgue.

Don’t worry, it’s safe for work – it’s not that kind of morgue. The New York Times is behind this project, which features selected photos from the Times’ archive, along with a brief commentary on the photos and their captions.

Why is The Lively Morgue relevant to what your company does (or perhaps doesn’t do) on Tumblr? There are a few reasons:

It shakes up people’s expectations. “Let’s agree that these photographs give lie to the idea that The New York Times is not a picture newspaper,” writes blog administrator David W. Dunlap. He’s absolutely right: The Lively Morgue uses fascinating content to show you a different side of a brand that you probably took for granted.

It extends a predictable narrative in unpredictable ways. The Lively Morgue doesn’t just show photos. It also shows the backs of photos, which include a wealth of information about how, when and why the photo was used. It’s an unconventional way to engage readers, yet it relies upon information that is literally right under a publisher’s nose.

It’s the perfect marriage of form and function. Are you wondering how to fit Tumblr into your content marketing strategy? Pay close attention to how the Times uses the platform to highlight content that might otherwise slip between the cracks – and to present it in a crisp, concise, highly accessible manner.

I wasn’t really sure that I “got” Tumblr before I saw The Lively Morgue. Now I understand exactly why Tumblr fills a distinct niche in the social media ecosystem.

-Matthew McKenzie

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