I don’t get Tumblr. I have no idea why it’s so damn popular. And I consider myself an Internet guy. I easily take a liking to almost anything and everything online.
I think it’s cause I see Tumblr like it’s just another fad. It’s something that’ll die down eventually.
Yes you see cool shit on Tumblr but it’s nothing that you can’t find anywhere else. Unless a celebrity that you’re a fan of blogs exclusively on Tumblr, I don’t see any sort of reason to browse the platform looking for cool shit unless you’re trying to be cool and say you’re on Tumblr. -which is pathetic.
You see, Tumblr caters to lazy people. It has a Twitter-like feed where you follow other bloggers. And your dashboard (basically your Tumblr homepage) allows you to see what those people “posted.” The system of seeing what you or your friends think think is cool displayed in a neat dashboard must be heavenly for those who haven’t discovered Feed Readers. (If you’re one of the people who hasn’t discovered Feed Readers yet, try Google Reader. It allows you to subscribe to frequently updated websites. It’s like your Tumblr dashboard except you can subscribe to almost any kind of website, not just Tumblr. But I digress. Back to the topic.) It also gives wannabe bloggers a feeling of accomplishment even though they’re too lazy to create any content. They just re-blog other people’s posts.
This “re-blog system” creates a popularity contest environment which is measured by the number of followers you have and the number of times your posts (assuming you create your own) are re-blogged. This was even more intensified with what used to be called “Tumblarity,” which is supposedly a numerical scale of your Tumblr popularity. I guess it’s this popularity contest which pushed Tumblr bloggers and content creators to continuously churn out good content. But I repeat, you won’t find anything on Tumblr that you won’t see anywhere else.
I also don’t like Tumblr’s structure. It’s fucking hard to navigate to single posts since posts are not meant to be viewed individually. Tumblr’s feel suggests that its content is to be viewed in a stream-like manner which, for me, is stupid. I believe in emphasizing the individuality of each post in a blog. I’d like to be able to navigate easlily to each individual post because not all blog posts are created equal. Rarely does one find a blog with whose posts are all “killers.” A blog with all killer posts is like an All-Star team. Tumblr gives off a feeling that if you’re not signed-up, you can’t enjoy Tumblr-hosted blogs fully. Walled garden?
The entire platform doesn’t seem to be SEO friendly, too. So rarely do Tumblr posts and blogs appear for my searches in Google. And not one SEO article I’ve read suggests that Tumblr has good on-site SEO. But this is just my hunch.
I also hated the fact that clicking an image doesn’t take me to the image or the post or not even on a webpage for the image, it takes me to the home page of the motherfucking blog it’s from. This is very trouble if people are backreading and looking at month-old posts. (I dunno if this has changed or if this is just for some Tumblr blogs but this always happens to me)
And Tumblr isn’t scoring well on the content creation side either. As far as I can remember, Tumblr uses Amazon hosting for its content. This means URL to images are very hard to manage. It’s practically impossible to link to an image. This is good if you don’t want your image to be embedded elsewhere in the web. But if you’re trying to edit your post and you have limited HTML knowledge, this can be very troublesome. I’ve blogged on Multiply, Blogspot and WordPress. I’ve also tried submitting content on small and unpopular link and bookmark submission sites. But nothing gave me more trouble than Tumblr. (and I’m not even exaggerating) I was dumbfound when I saw that post titles are not required. How the fuck are people supposed to navigate? There’s limited support on editing the HTML of your post. Fuck, even Multiply has a better post editor in my opinion.
It pains me to see nothing but praises for the platform and yet I can’t find even one single exceptional thing about it. Yes, even celebrities (mainly online) are jumping on the Tumblr bandwagon but I think it’s only cause it’s popular and it’s where the online crowd is.
For me, WordPress is still the number one place for creating and delivering non-video content on the Web. Blogger comes in at a very, very close 2nd.
Tumblr is the new LiveJournal. And I can’t wait for it to die its slow, natural and unavoidable death.