One of my favorite websites is Humans of New York. It features photos of people in public spaces accompanied by a short story or quote that brings you into their world. The sites creator, Brandon Stanton, spoke today at SXSW about his vision.
Humans of New York is regularly followed by four million people and is a great example of a multi-platform content strategy. Originally a Tumblr page, the site has morphed into a dedicated site, including a subscription option.
The site is supported by Facebook and Twitter, and most recently, select photos were compiled in a New York Times best selling book.
Brandon believes the success of Humans of New York has little to do with the photos, rather everything to do with the frequency of his updates and the dual storytelling power of words and pictures. The unpredictability of each post keeps viewers coming back, as he says, “The cool thing about social media is it allows people to find things they’re not looking for.”
Humans of New York featured 2,000 photos before the first story appeared about the site. Brandon believes this allowed him to hone his storytelling style and build an audience organically.
Brandon’s talk concluded with a quote I feel like my Dad has said to me, “Ideas are cheap, hard work makes money.” It’s that commitment to his vision and his audience which has made Humans of New York a property on the rise.