Jeremy Kressmann has the enviable position of being able to travel the world on Tumblr's dime.
Kressmann, whose unbelievable job title is actually "travel and tourism evangelist," was hired by the blogging company in January as part of an ambitious expedition to get to know members with particular passions.
Kressmann, a regular voyager with a writer's resume, joins Tumblr's arsenal of evangelists for fashion, gaming, music, and other specialized subject matters. Each is tasked with getting to know the communities they've been assigned to and amplifying the best voices therein.
"Tumblr is a platform for the creative community," Kressmann said during an interview with CNET. "It's important to us to have expertise about communities."
Specifically, Kressmann's job is to give structure to Tumblr's travel community, highlight the best travel publishers, brands, and bloggers, and connect the dots between stellar travel content and the people who care about it. Kressmann oversees the company's travel resources, which include a news blog, multiple directories, and curated travel tags to help people discover interesting things such as captivating landscapes.
With 95 million blogs fighting for attention on the widely popular platform, Kressmann gets to take members on a digital safari to hidden treasures such as the remarkable aviation photography shot by Adam Senatori, an accomplished photographer and former airline pilot. Senatori purposefully pinpoints visually arresting scenery from up above. He appreciates the intricate patterns formed by interstates, perfectly plotted out suburbs, and industrial wonders.
The photographer is in transition, flying from the commercial editorial realm to the more niche travel world. Tumblr, Senatori says, lets him speak directly to a very specific audience. He shares his shots to Tumblr in the hopes of selling his shots to media outlets like Condé Nast Traveler, a publisher he says follows his photo posts.
Kressmann, who added Senatori to a suggested user list for travel, has been instrumental in ensuring that the photographer's work gets maximum exposure.
Tomorrow, Kressmann will take his gig offline to meet the people he hopes to inspire. Kressmann will host Tumblr's first-ever offline travel panel in Los Angeles. A surf photographer and street artist will be among those talking to people about the more diverse gems hidden within the concrete jungle. The following day, Kressmann and the team at tour-guide site Atlas Obscura will take Tumblr users on a expedition to an abandoned zoo in Griffith Park.
Several hundred people have already RSVP'd to the event, Kressmann said, which means Tumblr is having to turn away would-be attendees. The offline event, however, is being supplemented by a collaborative Tumblr blog specifically for the Los Angeles travel community where Kressmann hopes people will share their best travel tips.
Eventually, we'll see this offline event strategy make its way to other major metropolitan areas though no future cities have been named as of yet.
"When I travel, I like to incorporate local resources," Kressmann said. "It was a natural idea for me to take what people love in their own town and translate that into a resource for the [Tumblr] community."