Non-matching Tumblrs

What do you do when two women for whom you hold high regard come to diametrically opposite positions? If you’re wise, you run like hell. Not being wise, I post their positions.

Nicole wants to know:

[W]hat the hell is Tumblr good for? Seriously, if you know, share because I don’t see the point. Is it like having a blog with no content other than things you reblog (not to say I’m not seriously guilty of that) where you don’t have to respond to any comments or interact with anyone?

Vi Hart, who just started a Tumblr, ponders:

My question, for now, is whether tumblr is a better place for me than a regular ol’ blog. It seems like it has all the functionality of a blog plus more, even if the bonus sharing/discussing functionality is severely crippled. Tumblr does seem to be designed for spreading photography (of people), photography (of animals), photography (of architecture), and photography (of sculpture), but like most successful internet tools it finds its success in the fact that people can repurpose it to serve their needs. No one cares what twitter or youtube are “for,” anymore, and as long as the creators don’t mess too much with what people do with their tool, it will keep being useful.

Tumblr “notes” can be construed as comments in the canonical sense, but the platform’s structure does allow for comments identified as such, as seen on a few blogs I read now and then. Still, I tend to see Tumblr more as a meme-propagation service than a blog platform.



  1. McGehee »

    14 April 2013 · 11:53 am

    I suppose Tumblr is good for photo-posting by people who don’t care to blog as such, just as Youtube can serve that function in videos. But if I want to post photos or videos I’ll do it … on my blog.

  2. Tatyana »

    14 April 2013 · 12:33 pm

    When I looked into the platform some time ago, I figured out Tumblr is good as a gathering place of visual information, something of a digital scrapbook. It might be useful for work purposes (collecting image library for presentations). I don’t think it should be considered in terms of regular blog format.
    One thing is kind of irritates me about Tumblr, though: that usually those who repost their online finds do not give an original source- so now, if you try google-search image, you see endless chain of reposts w/o any indication who was the original author.

  3. sya »

    14 April 2013 · 12:58 pm

    I’ve recently started a Tumblr. Mostly to help keep my collection of bookmarks under control. (I don’t care if no one visits or shares any of my Tumblr posts.) I suppose I could post everything I post there on my regular blog, but nowadays, I consider the regular blog more of a personal thing than something I can dump any ol’ link I find on the internet.

  4. Charles Pergiel »

    14 April 2013 · 2:26 pm

    I’ve stumbled over a couple of Tumblr pages that had some really impressive pictures, but I didn’t mark them down and now I don’t know where they are, whereas I have my list of blogs I read and I visit them most every day. Funny how that works.

  5. fillyjonk »

    14 April 2013 · 2:47 pm

    It seems to me to be a visual/verbal divide: people who are more interested in sharing pictures seem to gravitate to tumblr, people who are more into writing about their experiences blog (or, I suppose use FB or something).

    A lot of the tumblrs I’ve seen seem to be mostly content ganked from other places….which makes me wonder about issues of ownership and copyright and attribution and that sort of thing.

  6. Jeff Brokaw »

    14 April 2013 · 10:20 pm

    Tumblr is not for everybody, but I like it for the ease of reblogging interesting stuff that I encounter on the net, or from other tumblrs I like and follow. Recently, I even converted my homepage to point to my tumblr that I started in ’09. I was drawn to the fact that it is more of a multimedia experience than “real” blogging. which I grew somewhat bored with a few years ago (lately, I hardly ever update my wordpress blog). It’s low maintenance, too, and you can easily scan tags like black and white photography which is one of my favorites. Also, it is not Facebook, which is good, because FB just kind of annoys me for a variety of reasons. Social media in general annoys me, frankly. Tumblr is the only one I can tolerate . . .

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