Last week I was strung out on Tumblr, yet another form of Internet crack. That is why I was hardly here last week. I started a Tumblr blog – it already has hundreds of posts! It was pretty easy to do:
- Most posts are short, very short. In my case instead of being mainly thoughtful, 500-word posts like here on WordPress, most are just pictures of pretty women.
- Most posts are copied from other Tumblr blogs. Tumblr makes that extremely easy.
- Tumblr makes it easy to find content you like, so you are more likely to find stuff you would want to copy in the first place. More on that below.
- Tumblr gets you hooked so you wind up spending way more time on it than you intend.
Tumblr, like WordPress or Blogger, is a blogging platform. You sign up and start blogging. But where a Blogger or WordPress blog is like a public diary or a little magazine, a Tumblr blog is more like a scrapbook – one that would seem like magic 20 years ago.
Imagine if you had a scrapbook that the whole world could see. Further imagine that every time someone copied something from it to theirs – or liked something they saw in it – you were given a link to their scrapbook! You would quickly find scrapbooks of those who shared your interests. In addition imagine that you would be told whenever a scrapbook you liked had new content.
Well, that is what Tumblr is.
Copying posts from other blogs to yours is called reblogging. A record of where a post has been copied and who likes it is kept in a part of the post called notes. When you “follow” another blog you get told when something new appears on it.
Not mass culture but microculture: One of the cool side effects is that in place of mainstream culture or even subculture you find yourself in a sort of microculture (my word for it). So instead of seeing posts on television shows I never watch or even singers I cannot stand, like Beyonce and Lil Wayne, I get stuff like Erykah Badu, Kelis, Edward Said and C.S. Lewis. Wow! I also get to see a sort of female beauty that is way closer to my own tastes than anything I have seen in a magazine or on television.
How you get hooked:
- Like with YouTube you find yourself saying “just one more” and the next thing you know it is two hours later. Because most content is short and when you are done you see links to yet other related content.
- If you follow enough blogs there is always something new coming in – of content that you will most likely find interesting.
- When someone new reblogs a post of yours it makes you curious to look at their blog.
On the other hand, searching and commenting are terrible. Which makes it worse for the sort of writing and debate that goes on here. So I am not about to do most of my blogging there anytime soon.
– Abagond, 2010.