When most people create a Tumblr account, they use it mainly as an outlet to repost things they see from other users. Joey DeAngelis, however, has used his blog to create connections in the entertainment industry.
DeAngelis, a junior media studies and production major, has gained a massive following with his blog, “The TV Screen,” and secured a writing position with the Huffington Post, reviewing shows like “True Blood” and “American Horror Story: Asylum.”
The Temple News caught up with DeAngelis to find out how he started his blog and how he’s made a name for himself in an oversaturated market.
The Temple News: How did you first start blogging?
Joey DeAngelis: It started originally in June 2010 as a fashion photography blog because that’s what I wanted to do at the time. Then, eventually, I went to Rochester Institute of Technology – before I came [to Temple] – for photography. Then it [morphed] into a TV blog, and I dropped out of [RIT] because I didn’t want to do photography anymore, I wanted to do TV instead. So I came [to Temple] and my blog kind of [started] from there.
TTN: What drew you more to TV and pop culture?
JD: I’ve always been into it really, but it never struck me as something to do as a job. So when I was able to do it and make connections it was like, “Oh, this could actually be a cool path for me.”
TTN: What does your blog tend to focus on, since it has a variety of TV, music and film?
JD: Well I kind of just blog what I watch, and I watch a lot of stuff so it’s [a little bit of] everything. There’s no real specific focus. I don’t really do reality TV that much, which is kind of funny because that’s how I started doing TV. I would [make .gifs of] “Jersey Shore”…It’s kind of embarrassing.
TTN: How much of the content on your Tumblr is generated by you?
JD: I’d say about 98 percent of my blog is my own.
TTN: How did you first get into creating your own animated .gifs?
JD: When I started [blogging], I followed this one horror movie blog, and that kid made .gifs. I thought it was cool so I went on YouTube to look up how to do it. It can take me 10 minutes to an hour to make [a .gif].
TTN: How many followers do you have on Tumblr and Twitter?
JD: On Tumblr I have 65,000-plus followers and on Twitter I’m lesser known, with 1,156 followers.
TTN: With such a large following, have you made any connections through social media?
JD: Yeah, that’s how I got my Huffington Post gig. I made a tiny text post [on Tumblr] that said, “If anyone needs me to write for them let me know. Then I got an email from an editor there and he said, “If you’d like to blog with us that would be cool.”
Besides that I have people I know that work with Fox, and this guy who used to work with Ryan Murphy, a couple of people at VH1, MTV and “The X Factor.” Those connections are cool because Tumblr allows you to make these connections, and I don’t think people realize they can do that. Tumblr is sometimes considered a joke to some people. It’s like, “No, it’s not just for [a place] for really hipster-y photos.” You post things and people can create conversations.
TTN: How does it feel knowing you have these connections and a springboard into the entertainment industry upon graduation?
JD: It’s nice because I’m not worried about [graduating]. Actually I’m just waiting for it to happen. I feel like I’m stuck in college now until I can actually do stuff. So I’m ready to graduate and take those opportunities that are waiting there for me.
TTN: What do you plan to do in the near future?
JD: I still plan on interning for the Huffington Post in the summer, even though writing isn’t what I want to do as a career it’ll be something to do. And it pays. Then after I graduate I want to go to Los Angeles and work in TV. Part of me wants to work in it creatively and write TV shows.
TTN: What kinds of shows are you watching every week? Do you watch them for fun or just for your blog?
JD: I watch them for fun. I do watch them so I can just know about them, I also just love watching TV. If I had pick one character I relate to it would be Kenneth Parcell from “30 Rock”…I love TV so much that I watch it all the time, and I don’t even care what I’m watching.
TTN: How much of your personal life do you include in your blog?
JD: Last year I was this crazy, self-deprecating person who would always post things about being sad and single. Recently, I came out [of the closet] in August, and I didn’t come out to Tumblr until November or December and then people would message me saying, “It means a lot to me. I’m thinking of coming out, too.” And I was like, “Cool!”
It made me really happy because I can write something that’s personal and it can still affect people. They still appreciate it even though they’re following me for my TV stuff.
TTN: How do you balance time between your schoolwork and your blogging?
JD: It’s been difficult recently, because I’ve been blogging once a day – if that. I have classes, then I go to work, then I go home, then I see my boyfriend and I go to bed. I told someone the other day that I feel like I’m not watching TV [for fun] anymore, I’m just watching it to catch up.
Just today, walking to this interview, I got a tweet that said, “Could you blog more?” I was like, “I’m sorry! I’m busy.”
TTN: What would you suggest to someone looking to make their blog more notable?
JD: I just adopted advice that other people gave to me. Post what you like, but don’t just regurgitate things other people like. I think my blog is different from other people because other [blogs on Tumblr] are just reblogging stuff constantly.
Again, post what you like and don’t get discouraged. I went through a big chunk of time when I didn’t have any followers and I was just posting pictures I found online. You want to input your personality into it, too. Not to sound conceited but people want to know about me so I just give them what they want – kind of.
TTN: Do you think it’s important to post personal things on your blog as well?
JD: I think your followers do establish a connection to you, so you don’t want to alienate them. You want to be yourself.
Luis Fernando Rodriguez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheLuisFernando.