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Thoughts on Tumblr

- Can't really hold conversations--there's really no good way to do it. You can reply to a post, but there's no mechanism to reply to those replies. You can message, but those are completely private, and unthreaded--and also extremely limited in length per message. You can leave asks/submissions on peoples' blogs (if those options are enabled) but it's pretty much a one-way mode of communication. For the truly desperate, there's the option of reblogging and commenting on the previous post, but a) that's extremely tedious to those who have you on their dashboard and b) if at some point the conversation branches off, there's no way to see how anything connects. It's the equivalent of xeroxing someone's note, writing your reply beneath, and tacking it to your dorm room door (again and again and again). And if someone makes their comments in the tags instead of the post itself, it just gets messier.

- It's a popularity game. No, no one really talks about it that way, but the site is designed so that you can't escape the stats. If you're logged into your account, the "activity" chart is inescapable. Even if you're not, the number of times a post has been liked/reblogged/replied to is almost always visible. Even if you go in with the mindset of "I'm going to ignore the stats because I don't care", it's ubiquitous. I think I tried five separate times to find an "off" switch for that aspect of the site but couldn't.

- Queuing. I initially thought queuing was a brilliant thing--and I still like the end result, but the mechanics of it are kind of annoying. You have very little control over the formatting of your post, and only rudimentary control over when any individual post within that queue is published. And because the queue holds a maximum of 300 posts and I'm an inveterate completionist, it's extremely difficult for me to shake the need to fill the queue and keep it filled--even though at the rate I've set for posting that's 3+ months of content. (And then continue on to fill the "drafts" folder. Yes, that's actually a thing I attempted until I finally came to my senses.) But it's designed like this because the whole aim of Tumblr is to, well, "stream" content. When you're posting almost constantly, the exact order of things probably doesn't really matter.

- Because of how these and other factors combine, it turns very easily into an echo chamber (or a virulent flame war). I used to follow a bunch of other blogs, but wound up dropping almost all of them because I was sick of seeing the same GIF set 12 times in a row. (And then a second time as everyone reblogged for the next timezone over.)

- All extremes, no middle. By which I mean, something is either completely private or completely public. There really aren't any in-between spaces. Take a recent post I made here on gun policies. People on both sides of the question commented, quite politely; they could see each other's comments (and my replies) and could respond to those or directly to my post. But we didn't have to worry about some random loon stumbling across us while perusing the "gun policies" tag and coming in to stick their nose into our conversation. The conversation is open, but not out in the public square--Tumblr really doesn't have the equivalent of this.



All of that to say that I'm pretty seriously making plans to close up shop on Tumblr so that I can focus entirely on LJ--keep doing the screen cap thing, but on a smaller scale and a bit more in-depth. There are only two people who even comment over there, and I'm already friends with one of them on LJ. *waves at frozen_delight* I feel kind of like I have to choose between one or the other platform because trying to do both is driving me a little nuts, and I like LJ better in every aspect except the storage space limit--which there are enough ways around that it really isn't an issue. (deadlybride, I don't suppose you'd consider revisiting LJ? It's a little easier to squee at each other over here.)
*waves back*

Funny coincidence: I just participated in the fandom survey milly_gal linked (maybe consider doing it too, it's for academic purposes?) and the last question was about how my ideal fandom website would look like. :) I'd like to have a mixture of LJ and Tumblr: The possibility of having in-depth discussions within a certain group of people (and not just having to choose between complete privacy and complete publicity like you pointed out!) and good text formatting options like here on LJ, combined with the easy post sharing options and the formatting options for other media that Tumblr has to offer.

I'd be sorry to see you leave Tumblr, since I love having your screencaps on my dash. Do you use xkit? It allows you to get rid off things you don't like, such as the activity stats, and it offers you extra functions like managing your queued posts.
Just did the survey--some intelligent questions there.

I'll keep doing screen caps, just in weekly posts over here, I think. I'm tired of trying to run two separate blogs, and of the two, LJ gives me what I actually want, which is the ability to discuss stuff. Since you and deadlybride really are the only people I interact with over there, I almost feel like there's no point to it. There's so much casual negativity floating around it's just ... why bother?

But I will finish the run of "tribute to season X" posts I've been doing, so I'll be on your dashboard for at least 4 more months, if my calculations are correct.
I find it interesting to read a dissection of Tumblr that I don't disagree with, necessarily, but that I don't *feel* in the same way.

I stopped using Livejournal in any serious way about... wow, six years ago, it turns out. (Had to check my personal blog--what was I thinking with that color scheme.) I never managed to actually find a community of people with whom to have actual conversation while on LJ. Perhaps that was because my participation in the whole website is solely centered around fanfiction rather than fandom as a whole--I don't know. I'm very bad at self-promotion and putting myself out there, so the people that I've tended to actually talk to online have found *me*. This is not a good way to build a following, or foster productive conversations. When I noticed that most of the communities I used to follow had kind of died off, I followed the fandom to Tumblr to see what they were up to there.

What I like about Tumblr *is* the kind of intense openness. As you mention in your post, and as I've talked about quite a bit, there is an echo-chamber effect as people talk back and forth and confirm their own opinions. The mood can be a little self-satisfied, certainly. And the popularity contest thing is very accurate, but I found that to be the same here on LJ, or even on AO3 for that matter. You don't get attention or conversation unless you've already had attention and conversation. I don't know that there's a way of getting around that. So, I reached out carefully to some of the more popular Tumblr-ers to chat about things, and have from there made some e-acquaintances, and from there got myself a few followers (though I'd note that the actual, participatory followers came from self-advertising on my AO3 posts). I also note that my opinions (which I confine to tags, as is apparently the polite way on Tumblr) are only ever seen because frozen_delight, a popular blogger, will sometimes copy them into the reblog of a post. Whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know. I admit I felt a faint sense of panic when frozen_delight reblogged my taggy opinions and RIVKAT OF ALL PEOPLE saw them. A mini-spasm of the stomach ensued. So: Tumblr is a strange mix of public and private that's hard to navigate, but it does all depend on popularity.

I don't agree with all of the opinions of the people I follow, that's for damn sure. There's negativity that irritates me, and wank that bores me, and I've never had the sense to install x-kit to filter it out. On the other hand, seeing a little of that wanky negativity is probably good for me, so that I don't just surround myself with constant positive opinions. I may disagree with their interpretations of FOR EXAMPLE SUPERNATURAL (oh God, so rarely do I agree), but I think it's good to know that those interpretations are happening. I guess. ...I strive for intellectual openness while simultaneously also thinking that my opinion is always right. It's a tough position to be in.

Anyway. I'll certainly keep my Tumblr (and we'll see if this Slack thing ends up being fun or not--I'd like to get a few more people with a restrained and logical way of thinking involved, but I don't know who I can trust to be that way). If you tag me, I'll certainly come over and check out a post on Livejournal, but as it stands I'd only be here for you. (To give you high-fives, even.)

P.S. I apologize, I have no idea how to tag people in posts/comments anymore. Or format things. It's been a really long time, as I said.

P.P.S. (Once I finally found the edit button) Another thing re: Tumblr vs. LJ, which I was thinking about as I scrolled in faint horror down my old blog. Are tags on Livejournal public? E.g., if someone makes an original post on Tumblr and tags it #donkeys, presumably if you search by #donkeys you would see it. LJ's tags seem to be confined to the individual blog. Do I have that right?

Edited at 2016-06-24 06:31 pm (UTC)
Flyby on someone's unprotetected network: no, tags are not publicly searchable. So your younger self is safe :)
Re: your P.S. -- no worries on the formatting front, everything looks well enough there. :)

On the other hand, seeing a little of that wanky negativity is probably good for me, so that I don't just surround myself with constant positive opinions. I may disagree with their interpretations of FOR EXAMPLE SUPERNATURAL (oh God, so rarely do I agree), but I think it's good to know that those interpretations are happening. I guess. ...I strive for intellectual openness while simultaneously also thinking that my opinion is always right. It's a tough position to be in.

As someone who is simultaneously a super nit-picker and an inveterate 'fixer', I've found it's just best to steer clear of negativity because otherwise I get stuck in a really uncomfortable feedback loop that makes it almost impossible for me to simply watch the show. But I do think your approach is probably the more ideal one--though, as I'd guess, a bit uncomfortable at times.

I'm glad you've found something that works for you in Tumblr--I was just talking with my cousin (with whom I finally have something in common; thanks for that, fandom!) about how each successful social media platform offers something unique. People might flock to the newest one just because it's 'hot', but the people who wind up sticking around are those for whom it actually functions. And since my primary focus is conversation, Tumblr just isn't hacking it even half as well as LJ.

(Would you like me to mention you in future SPN posts that seem like they might be of interest, so they show up in your inbox? I don't want to presume, or clutter things up for you.)
Sure, tag me! I finally just linked the old email associated with the LJ account to my main inbox, so now I will actually see replies & whatnot. And who knows, maybe I actually would come back here and participate more, since it does seem like there are still the active parts that I missed.
Will do!

Also, there's some good discussion/community that happens in/around spn_bunker, if you're looking for something more than just occasionally hanging out on my LJ.
I think the thing about Tumblr is that it really is geared more toward the visual and barely toward interaction. For me Tumblr is where I reblog pretty pictures to view at my leisure and to occasionally drop a comment that I want to say but not discuss (if that makes sense).

But when it comes as a means to be social. Yeah, it's terrible, really terrible. And you really have to be careful who you follow because there's a lot of ideologies on Tumblr that are mind-boggling ridiculous, and the passive-aggression can be off the charts. I follow, like, a grand total of I think three personal blogs, and everything else I follow are themed blogs (like cure animals, favorite actors, nature, etc).
What I've realized is that what I really want to do is talk about pretty pictures--and Tumblr (as my opening and closing points discuss) just isn't designed to support that.
Yeah, and I think what's really sad about it is how careful you have to be when you do try to strike up a conversation. Because there are a lot of overly sensitive people lurking around Tumblr. I say that there's a lot of passive-aggression going on, but there's also flat-out bullying, as well as people who've had their lives ruined because someone on Tumblr didn't like their opinion.

I often like to compare Tumblr to the Youtube comment section, but at least you can ignore the YT comment section:/
Tumblr drives me insane but it's less to do with layout and more to do with lack of personal touch I think!
Which flows from the underlying layout/framework, yeah. *sighs* I'm increasingly looking forward to closing up shop and moving back here full-time.
I'm working on it! Plan is to finish the run of "tribute to season XX" episode posts I've been doing (am half-way through season seven) and then say goodbye to Tumblr--I already have that drafted and saved. :D
*prods a bit*

Hey, you never shared your favorite SPN music vids. I was looking forward to seeing those after you got back from your trip, but it's been a couple of weeks now.
I completely bloody forgot about that! It's in my *pinned* tabs and I just haven't surfed those for a while! Sorry bb, I'll get to it over the weekend!