June 21st, 2016


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.)

Google really does know all

Posted about Tumblr. Had 10 minutes left on lunch break, figured I'd go check my subscriptions on YouTube. Nothing there, went to suggestions. Top of the list?

The video speaks truth, my friends. The video speaks much truth. I suspect my icon of Rodney foaming at the mouth has never been more applicable.