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20 July 2012 @ 11:36 pm
Okay, so I am sure you are all very tired of seeing posts by people going, "Who is Tumblr? What is she, that all our fans commend her?" But! I have a question, brought on by thehoyden, who is, it goes without saying, a terrible person. And so, yes, this is another How Does Tumblr post. Sorry.

See, I have always rejected Tumblr as Not for Me, because walls of text are not welcome there, and I am an entirely text-based creature. And I will probably always be a more or less passive Tumblr user, but - I was considering posting, like, shorter, single-thing recs there. For recs that will never fit in a set! Or whatever! It would still be all text, though. Is that a thing I should do? OPINE AT ME, Tumblr denizens! Assuming any of you still read this text-based medium.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
winter_elf: facepalmwinter_elf on July 21st, 2012 06:51 am (UTC)
ugh. if you figure out Tumblr let me know. I'm really stumbling around there. It's not easy to work with. It's also almost impossible to hop from friend/friend/friend and find something cool. :( You kind of have to have the person 'friended' to catch anything.
Malmalnpudl on July 21st, 2012 06:58 am (UTC)
I'm so heavily text-biased that Tumblr feels like an assault on my brain, so I just run away. Again. Every time. :-(
Isilya: lustisilya on July 21st, 2012 07:12 am (UTC)
I would love you to post short insta-recs here! The place where tumblr fails like a pit of yawning despair is in dialogue of any kind -- this may be a feature and not a bug if you're not looking to open a conversation, but the comments in your posts are always gold.
Malmalnpudl on July 21st, 2012 07:13 am (UTC)
Seconded. :-)
The Gauche in the Machine: WC Neal - Ooh!china_shop on July 21st, 2012 07:47 am (UTC)
But what if I'm a mermaid?: Queen of Wands - readdeepbluemermaid on July 21st, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
celliacellia on July 21st, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
IA. I've yet to see an easy way to have a conversation.
Stillane: Tree Mestillane on July 21st, 2012 07:23 am (UTC)
I feel like I need a primer for Tumblr etiquette. So far, my impression is that it's more like an art gallery than LJ's coffeehouse experience. Like, you are supposed to appreciate it all relatively silently, confining your comments to brief, quiet murmurs if you absolutely must make them. I... don't really understand? Half the fun of fandom is being textually loud at each other. Um.

Other mysteries that haunt me include: What are the conventions of source attribution, since they seem to vary widely? Why is there more of an emphasis on these blogs as performance spaces, versus the journal combo of production and personal interaction? (I keep seeing people getting yelled at for not hosting the kind of content followers want to see, and lots of celebrations of having achieved a certain number of followers, etc.) Are someone's tags proprietary, and where does that fade into a fandom meme? How do you know which is which? Is there a way to thread or search conversations that I am just unschooled in as yet?

Tl;dr, but basically I now have a completely empty Tumblr that may eventually be used as a storage space for stuff that I like to look at. At least until I ramble too much about some of it and am chased off of the internet by torch- and pitchfork-wielding Tumblrians. And until that day, I would totally love to see text-y posts from you.
A pink plastic crypt that fits in your palmfiveforsilver on July 21st, 2012 10:25 am (UTC)
There are lots of conversations going on on my tumblr dash, but that may be because I follow some activist-type people and a couple of specifically question-and-answer tumblrs. It is different from livejournal, because it's set up in a totally different way, so it's not going to be the same. There are lots of things that I would post on LJ that I would never post on Tumblr because Tumblr is so wide-open and there's no way to lock anything down or only share it with a select group, which adds to that difference.

When I post new things, as opposed to reposting other people's stuff, I always include attribution. I wish everyone else would too, but a lot of people are lazy and don't bother. It's up to you. (Include attribution. It's the nice thing to do.)
Stillane: Tree Mestillane on July 21st, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Cool. Thank you! I hadn't actually noticed that there weren't privacy levels, which gives a much better context to the medium. On reread, my original comment makes me sound like the grouchy, get-off-my-lawn-you-Tumblr-users type, but I'm really just painfully aware that I am going to screw this up in some vast and meaningful way. I can find my way to the party - yay! pretty stuff! - but I think I need a trainer course to make sure I don't elbow somebody in the head by accident on the dance floor. :/

(Include attribution. It's the nice thing to do.)

Absolutely! It makes me twitch every time I can't figure out where something came from. My freshman bio writing prof is forever sitting somewhere in a corner of my brain ready to yell at me about improperly formatting my MLAs. *shudder*

Edited at 2012-07-21 06:46 pm (UTC)
A pink plastic crypt that fits in your palmfiveforsilver on July 21st, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
I really do understand about wanting a trainer course. My method with any new site I join is to sit back and watch what other people do for a while, and then to slowly start dipping a toe in, then another, until I've worked my way up to full-on participation. That used to be the normal way that new members behaved on the internet, actually (back when they were newbies and not n00bs)...

Alternately, I just ask my sister wtf I'm supposed to do. So I get asking for help as well :)

One of the main reasons that I always include attribution is rooted in selfishness - when I see something cool, often I want to know where it's from so I can find more of it or something else related to it (ie if it's a picture of food, maybe the recipe; if it's a picture of a celeb, maybe their name, etc). So, I want to make sure other people are able to find more stuff if they like what I post.
Stasiastasia on July 21st, 2012 07:25 am (UTC)
So, it's Twitter for images. As you've figured out, I'm sure.

There are a few add-ons which help, apparently. Um, "missing E" is one (it allows for a question field, I think) and "Tumblr Saviour" is another, which apparently allows you to filter what you read from your ... um, follow group.

I'm really not happy with Tumblr. There's art, sort of, and fanac, sure, and porn, yeah, but... well, it's just pointless, somehow. I want to interact in my online perorations and Tumblr doesn't seem to be about interaction as much as it's about re-posting other people's images.

On the right side of the main dashboard page, there's a search field called Search Tags. If you put something in there and then click the 'track' word that pops up, you can save that search.

That's all I've figured out so far. There are some people doing text-only Tumblr posts, but they're few and far between.

If you figure stuff out, please let me know.

Proactively Untwist Octagonal Hippopotamus Pants: geek bomerdramaturgca on July 21st, 2012 08:12 am (UTC)
Do it! And I know people who post fic on Tumblr, so it's not all non-texty.
(Deleted comment)
A pink plastic crypt that fits in your palmfiveforsilver on July 21st, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
I would absolutely follow you if that's what you were posting.

Yes, there are a lot of images and videos on, but there are lots of texty things on Tumblr, too. I post book reviews, for instance (and I don't include cover images). I have in fact seen entire mini fanfics posted on Tumblr. I love Tumblr. I never got the point of twitter and Tumblr is kind of like twitter that makes sense to me.

lacking in glittertawg on July 21st, 2012 10:42 am (UTC)
a) Yes, I think you'd actually be really good on tumblr.

b) It's not that walls of text are entirely unwelcome - it's just that if you have a long post that's going to be hard for people to scroll past (because people tumblr on their phones and such), stick the majority of it behind a cut.

c) I used to agree that tumblr was a bad place for discourse, because you don't have every thread of a conversation in one place, and I no longer get e-mail notifications if people reblog me, so I have to be active in keeping up with conversations. But that said, if you want to use tumblr to converse with people then you'll learn how. It doesn't even require a massively different mindset, and after your third really interesting conversation with someone you'll probably know the ropes.
A pink plastic crypt that fits in your palmfiveforsilver on July 21st, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
I hate it that they don't send notifications about reblogs anymore! I want to know!

But I agree that conversation, while not as easy as on LJ, definitely does happen.
Olna Jenndormouse_in_tea on July 21st, 2012 11:40 am (UTC)
No, you definitely shouldn't. Because I'm not on tumblr, and I'd miss them.


That said, no idear, not on tumblr. >_>
a pioneer woman without a frontier: [etc] moobarbed_whispers on July 21st, 2012 11:46 am (UTC)
i see plenty of people on tumblr making text posts/posting fic, so yes, this would be awesome!
Clever Manka: dS icon 1clevermanka on July 21st, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
I love Tumblr (I read and post there) but I love pretty pictures, so it suits me. I don't use it for interaction. I use it for image collecting and sharing.

I would follow you in any medium or format I could. Your recs are the best.
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on July 21st, 2012 01:55 pm (UTC)
It is a thing you should ABSOLUTELY do!!!!!!!!
Beckbeck_liz on July 21st, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
Firstly, as I have for others, I'm pointing you at [personal profile] arduinna's Tumblr tutorial.

Secondly, while I have come to adore Tumblr for what it can do well, my caveat is about what it doesn't do well: communicating with fellow users. While you can comment on some posts, you can't comment on all, and you can't get a nice thread going like here on LJ or DW. And the comments have a character limit, too. Most conversations happen in multiple rebloggings that are really hard to follow.

Edited at 2012-07-21 02:24 pm (UTC)
starfishchick on July 21st, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks for that link. I find Tumblr ... unintuitive. (I like what I see posted there, I just don't know how to USE it.)
09 f9 11 02 9d 74 e3 5b d8 41 56 c5 63 56 88 c0laura47 on July 21st, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
Yes! I would also read any text you posted there, tumblr norms be damned!
Raven: adventureravenofdreams on July 21st, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
My vote is "please don't" but that's my selfish text-based soul wanting to see recs here.
phamalamaphamalama on July 21st, 2012 06:21 pm (UTC)
I like your recs! The deal behind getting followers is posting original things frequently or having a theme to your blog (recs, fandom, culture)? I would also suggest posting at the times when people are online (at night, noon) and if you follow people that are online at the same time as you, your dash will be filled constantly with new stuff! PS I hope you post every day there~
cathalincathalin on July 21st, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
I finally started doing tumblr, idk, maybe six months ago, and I go through periods of spending quite a bit of time on it and days without it. I definitely think it sucks as a place to have conversation of any real kind other than "ohhh, hot!" or, "I agree and politicians suck!"

I do think it's a great idea to have a presence there, though. I don't think your content would need to be original/exclusive to tumblr -- I mean, it could be exclusive, but plenty of people post the same thing on their tumblr and lj/dw. It's just another place, for the parts of fandom who are primarily on there. Your long rec sets would work there just fine, and I'm pretty sure you'd get lots of reblogs. You could check out for example bea_recs -- I can check her tumblr name if you want -- to see an example of someone who does recs there but also lj/dw etc. (Okay I looked it up -- she's bea_lullaby on tumblr)

It might depend on you -- I have NEVER thought of myself as a visual person, and I'm not. Only... haha, turns out I can use hours productively (NOT) on tumblr staring at pretty things, laughing at funny things, getting angry over political things (I actually avoid most non fannish content, mainly, for reasons). At the same time, I have to say, sometimes things I see there ~inspire me with my writing? (If you call multiple pictures of Tony being competent with robots and Steve being Incredibly Pretty inspiration. Which I do.)

I'd say, try it? Why not? What is there to lose other than four hours a day of staring at pretty people? <3 (eta: I do think that large segments of fandom have migrated there, so it can be good to at least have your finger on the pulse of tumblr, too)

Edited at 2012-07-21 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hollyhollyxu on July 21st, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
Tumblr thrives on a culture of reblogging, so if you have short blurbs on recs, it should be fine. It's harder to have a conversation on tumblr, though, so if you prefer the rec-response format here, you might not like it.

Honestly I'm just there for the shiny .gifs.
Imaginary Researcher: James Wilson - khohen1hannahrorlove on July 22nd, 2012 01:12 am (UTC)
That'd actially be a really good way to use Tumblr.

I think of Tumblr as e-mail attachments without the e-mail. It's a very fun, relaxing space for me - largely because a large number of accounts I follow are nothing but lot of pictures of ball pythons and ravens and San Francisco street photography or explicit gay pornography. That sort of thing. I work to keep it fun and relaxing, and the end results of being able to sit down after a long workday and coo over nudibranchs is worth the effort. (Yes, there is a Tumblr devoted to nothing but awesome pictures of nudibranchs. It's quite nifty.)

Because conversations can't go back-and-forth the way they can on LJ or DW, it's very easy for people to delve into yelling matches, or the equivalent of ringing the doorbell and running away. It's also easy to avoid those people, since they tend to make themselves known.

Pretty much everyone I talk to agrees with your assessment, that text on Tumblr should be allowed, and that there should be ways for people to talk to each other. Maybe a link back to your LJ/DW for when you do post recs could fix some of the issues there.

Edited at 2012-07-22 01:12 am (UTC)
d: lokidvslj on July 22nd, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
Definitely do it. It's a great place for recs. On Tumblr there are two ways of watching content. One is watching the content of people you're following (so, your friends list) and the second is by watching the hashtags you're tracking. I've rarely seen rec posts on Tumblr as anything but text. My favourite example is http://tomomichi.tumblr.com/. This person makes quite long and detailed recommendations and they always turn up as huge blocks of text under the 'thorki' hashtag - which is something that usually makes me stop my fast scrolling.

I think even your more detailed recs would be great on Tumblr. Definitely give it a whirl - I rather like Tumblr.
springwoofspringwoof on July 22nd, 2012 03:10 pm (UTC)
I find Tumblr visually interesting but very confusing. The Spouse Tumbls and enjoys it, but, like Twitter, I just Don't Get It. (hastening to say: that's all on me; if you enjoy Tumblr, go for it.)
muscatlove: Kapuumuscatlove on July 23rd, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
I always ignored Tumblr then I suddenly "got it" 2 weeks ago, when I fell into Teen Wolf tv fandom. It's a hugely image/video meme based fandom, with metric tons of animated gifs, episode recaps, current speculation, etc., all of which fit in well with Tumblr, although the comparison I make is that LJ is like a swim in the pool with friends and Tumblr is like breaking open a fire hydrant in the street with your clothes on on a really hot day. Both can be satisfying but they appeal to different audiences, and one works better for discussion and the other works better for excited content production.

I just follow everyone who I find interesting or search by tags - it's kind of like wandering a museum looking for interesting art and then maybe finding a gallery you enjoy, and want to peek your head in every so often. If you enjoy the content, you "heart" it, and then you can find a list of all your likes. I know several people who don't actually post their own content but just lurk around others', so it's good for lurkers or those who just want to find stuff or post meta but not necessarily develop deep friendships about it. The people I do see using it for friendships seem to skew towards teenagers, and they are fine with reblogging each other with long trails of public comments. A lot of 20/30 something friends also use it to post movie reviews and reflections that don't deserve their own Wordpress blog.

In conclusion, I find it addictive and a lot more active than most of my current LJ communities, but it is also lonelier by far.
Innocent Bystanderfiresprite1105 on July 24th, 2012 03:40 am (UTC)
Everyone's migrating to Tumblr! This makes me sad. I like having everything in one place, namely LJ, and don't have a Tumblr. I only go when someone links me directly.