In Brief turns five!

Today is a big day for In Brief, the little microblog that could.

As of this morning, In Brief is five years old and home to well over three thousand entries, having averaged around two posts a day since its debut as the little sister to the NPI Advocate, NPI’s second oldest project and primary publication.

For nearly all of its first five years, In Brief was published with Tumblr, the microblogging startup that was bought by Yahoo for $1.1 billion last spring. But a few weeks ago, in time for today’s milestone, In Brief was migrated to WordPress, joining The Advocate and our other projects on NPI’s servers.

Despite having been moved to a new publishing platform, In Brief still looks much the same as it did before, though we gave it a new nameplate and freshened up the look and feel. Thanks to WordPress’ support for post formats, we were able to bring over asides as asides, links as links, quotes as quotes, chats as chats, and so on.

Before too long, we plan to give In Brief a proper overhaul and ultimately implement a responsive theme with functionality that takes advantage of some of the capabilities WordPress offers that Tumblr did not (and still doesn’t).

For now, though, we’re just happy to have completed the migration. We put in a lot of work to ensure that all of the old permanent links would redirect, including all of the old Tumblr shortlinks that were auto-tweeted over the years.

And, thanks to the fabulous Tumblr Crosspostr plugin developed by Meitar Moscovitz, we’re still publishing In Brief to Tumblr, so as not to leave any of our Tumblr followers behind! In Brief on Tumblr is now basically just a mirror that will automatically update whenever we publish a new item with WordPress.

This migration was in the works for a long time. We began planning to leave Tumblr a few years ago when it became evident that Tumblr wasn’t innovating to the extent we had hoped it would when we first began using it in 2009.

Tumblr’s glitchy post editor became a hindrance to seamless publishing, and Tumblr’s decision to abandon its BlackBerry mobile application and discriminate against BlackBerry users bothered us too. Tumblr never made an effort to address our grievances… so we left. We’re much happier on WordPress, which is free software that’s totally under our control.

We’re very happy that In Brief made it to this milestone and we’re excited for its future. It’s been a great way to share insights, recommended links, clips, excerpts of speeches, and other tidbits. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed publishing it. Here’s to the next five years!