Tumblr - I just don't get it

My awareness of the blogging site tumblr was pretty much zero, until recently I read a “shocking” story of someone’s tumblr subdomain being “stolen” from them. So why would a tumblr domain be worth “stealing”? From all I could tell tumblr was a me-too blogging service, with a name trying to cash in on the popularity of flickr/twitter, with all the usual web 2.0 trappings: big text, goofy colours, hipster “social media directors” living in lofts in NYC writing code on their Macbook Pros. So I asked this friend of mine who knows a lot about the internet what it was all about. This guys knows it all, from zombo to ninjas to LOLcatz. He’d rikroll your mother in her sleep without even thinking twice about it, anyway, the conversation went down like this:

Me: So…tumblr….what’s it all about.
Him: Well, it’s kind of like an internet micro-blogging site.
Me: So it’s like twitter?
Him: Well, not really, you can post much bigger content.
Me: So it’s like wordpress?
Him: Well, not really. See, wordpress has this ecosystem. Plugins, themes etc. It’s not just a hosting service.
Me: So tumblr is like blogger?
Him: Well, kind of, except blogger has got google behind it.
Me: Windows live?
Him: Errrr….
Me: So why would I use tumblr and not just set up my own blog?
Him: (shrugs)
Me: So why is tumblr “cool”?
Him: Well Joseph, tumblr is written in ruby on rails, and that makes it edgy and cool, even though it doesn’t actually haven any qualities that make it either of those things, the fact that it is written in Ruby just makes it POP.
Me: Right. It looks like I’ve got a lot more to learn about the internet.

Granted, I’m posting this on a blog running dotText 0.95. There are a list of tumblr features here, and some of those don’t look so bad. I guess I just don’t get it.


I’m wary of any blogging service actually. My brother’s blog on Blogger was taken down because of apparently "inappropriate content". He was having a bit of a rant, but I couldn’t see how he violated the terms of service. He wasn’t told that his post was taken down, wasn’t told how to get it back up or even what exactly led to the removal.

That’s just one reason why I haven’t gone with some sort of fully hosted blogging service. So even though keeping my Wordpress blog running can sometimes be a royal pain I like to know that subject to my webhost shutting down without warning I can keep on ranting without being censored by "the man".
5/03/2010 12:44:00 AM
Derek Morrison
One word: "community".

Ok, another word: "sharks"

5/03/2010 2:47:00 PM