Tumblr and then split (My case against excessive reblogging)

Each website has a unique way of obtaining its fair share of regular users and subscribers: be it through an innovative platform, a clever marketing strategy, or simply a fresh take on an old idea. We all know how Facebook suddenly took the Philippines by storm and in effect forced tech-savvy social butterflies (read: the middle class) to flee from the much maligned Friendster to migrate to their site. Most former users cite the overcrowding and the “lowering of standards” because of the prevalence of the so-called “jejemon” crowd. Facebook somehow gave the promise of an egalitarian society (free from outrageous custom HTML/CSS and a plethora of embedded YouTube videos and glitter graphics) that caters to those who believe that social networking should be done in a clean, streamlined, and user-friendly interface.

Lately it seems, that mass indeed followed class. Soon enough the everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, with the people whom the digital elite have ditched for Facebook slowly making their presence felt in the new “netizen” stronghold. And then came Tumblr. Tumblr was in many ways like Facebook except only a few people in the Philippines knew about. Once again, the upper classes came running to Tumblr, thinking “Sanctuary!” Whilst Facebook has yet to have its foundations crumble like Friendster and MySpace before it, Tumblr continues to be somewhat of an seemingly exclusive online community, despite the fact that it is very much open for all.

Why use Tumblr anyway? For one thing, Tumblr has the sharing features of Facebook (e.g. photos, links, videos, audio, etc.) minus the restrictive attitude it has regarding who can see what you post, much like unprotected Tweets are on Twitter. It is, for the most part, a great marriage between the two other sites I’ve mentioned but is actually a blog host site. Like Twitter, you can easily follow anyone you think is interesting enough so you can keep up with them. It takes away the awkwardness of having to ask permission to be someone’s friend, as with Facebook. Since it is a blogging platform in the first place, it is much like WordPress and Blogger in the sense that you can post whatever you want, when you want. In sum, Tumblr makes use of each website mentioned’s individual strength and condensing it into one.

An example of some people's cynical attitude towards the typical Tumblr post and aesthetic.

An example of some people's cynical attitude towards the typical Tumblr post and aesthetic

But if it’s all good, then why am I even writing this entry? As an old-school blogger, it somehow disappoints me that Tumblr is just being used to rehash other people’s general statements instead of actually bothering to write an actual entry on it. Since it is immensely popular nowadays in the country (which, I may add, has a relatively poor educational system), more Filipinos are opting for the easy way to blog. It basically has little or no effort required to convey an idea. One simply reblogs and reblogs without actually divulging anything substantial from their life experiences, which of course is the very core purpose of a blog. I, for one, believe that any blog, micro or not, should be an avenue wherein people can practice their communication skills. Tumblr, I think, is a fad that cultivates the disease of laziness that was inherited by Filipinos.

I really have nothing against people who use Tumblr but for those who just join for the sake of reblogging everything that they see, it really bothers me. It has somehow become a popularity contest wherein people share information not because they want other people to see it, but for them to be credited and be followed. I feel that if one has to reblog, one must also provide some insight as to why he or she decided to reblog it. I must admit that it is somewhat hypocritical of me because I am sometimes guilty of being an active over-sharer of things I find interesting but there should be some substance to the person behind all the things that he or she shares. I understand completely that not everyone will agree with me but I simply want blogs to be like blogs again. It’s either that or consider Tumblr as an altogether different kind of service. The whole concept of a blog is somehow lost since what one re-blogs is not necessarily one’s own thoughts but the thoughts (or photo representing said thought) of another person.

I must confess that it is hard to rationalize my jaded attitude towards Tumblr and put it into words. Maybe it is because of my preference for “traditional” blogging (which is based more on writing) or maybe it is because I haven’t tried it yet. Who knows? I might try it later on so I can finally put to rest my dissonant cognitions regarding this issue. However, probably by the time that I do decide to register an account, everyone else might have already tumbled and split to a new social networking site.

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About Zid

My wit is legendary. View all posts by Zid

14 responses to “Tumblr and then split (My case against excessive reblogging)

  • neralair

    *Pagkatapos basahin, nag-tumbling sabay split*

    Okay, now I finally know Tumblr exists for that purpose. I thought at first it was just an image sharing site (no offense to current users). I don’t have an account because of that idea. Whenever somebody posts something from Tumblr (with which its ‘T’ icon looks a bit like Twitter’s), I just click out of interest of the photo. And I thought Twitter is already “micro-blogging” at its finest (with 140 characters). 😀

    True, who knows if we non-users end up using it for whatever reason we may have in the future. I joined Twitter because I heard you can stalk follow people, especially the famous ones. 🙂 But maybe there is still substance in these Tumblr posts, Zid. It may be all about depicting your message in just one image, or finding a common sentiment with the one you “re-blogged” from. Though it might be a tad difficult shift from the balance of symbols and substance that we are taught.

    As to the constant search for SNS sites (just to avoid ever-haunting-us jejemons), there might be an incoming solution, if ever Facebook falls down on us one day (God forbid!). *Shamelessly plugs in topic for her next blog entry* Google is making a “Google Me” site (rumored) soon-to-be-rival of Facebook. I’ll give the details next week. Unless you want to search for it. Heehee. 😀

    • Zid

      Some things are just too hard to explain properly without throwing in any biases. I’m sure there are substantive posts on Tumblr, it’s not unlikely. But given that it oversimplifies the blogging process just obscures the presence of quality content in Tumblr. I really don’t know what to make of it. It’s not in my authority to dictate what people should do. It’s just my stand regarding its growing popularity.

      I’ll be looking forward to you entry. You can expect a comment from me as soon as you have it up already. 🙂

  • barrycade

    like you, i also hate re-blogs and re-tweets when these are more often than necessary. it’s not just about being lazy, but perhaps about not having something substantive to say. it’s the recourse of people who cannot contribute original content online. pathetic, i should say.

    i also dislike posting the one same message in all of a person’s social networking site, specially if you have the same network anyway. once is fine, but if it’s all the time, i just hate it. people really have to learn how to use social networking sites more than their platform for self-promotion. 🙂

    • Zid

      I thought I was alone in this. Whew! It almost feels like spam if people re-blog something constantly. It just takes up so much space in my Twitter feed (for those who link their Tumblr accounts with their Twitter).

    • kitsatwork

      Tumblr is not only impeding online collaboration but also promoting online duplication which is NOT A GOOD THING. 😐 It defeats the very purpose of the internet and the new social media.

  • Pattydc

    I must confess that I did create a tumblr account a while back but haven’t done anything to put anything in it whatsoever. I do admit that I enjoy viewing the tumblr accounts of people that I know. But, I have noticed that many users are content with just re-re-re-re-sharing photos and vids from other tumblr users.

    There are good tumblr sites out there, I tell ya. I’ll post some links in my blog soon so you can see. For the most part though, I agree that there are many shall we call ’em “posers” in tumblr that only re-hash rather than present original thoughts/works. For many people it is just a “pa-cute” stunt instead of an actual avenue to share their self expressions and thoughts. It’s sad, really.

    • Zid

      There are some Tumblr blogs that I check out every now and then (read: FuckYeahFrancisco) so I’m not entirely against it. I juts wish people didn’t re-blog everything on sight. It almost feels like a waste of perfectly good blog space.

  • attackofthelines

    I also observed that phenomenon (can’t think of another term as of the moment) of reblogging on Tumblr. It kinda puts me off that rather than creating their own posts, some (actually, a lot) people just reblog what other people are blogging or even reblogging themselves. In my opinion, the reason why you’re keeping a blog is because you want your own thoughts and content to be there. It’s your own space on the internet. It would seem like your existence on the web is just superficial when you just keep on reblogging.

  • Wiki Walk Wednesdays: No. 1 - The Nostalgia Machine

    […] of better words, I’m going to call it “reblogification”, but I totally agree with this guy on his wariness (or flat out rage) against the mass-scale reproduction of style or technique. It […]

  • Francis

    I always used to read post in news papers but now as I am a
    user of internet therefore from now I am using net
    for content, thanks to web.

  • telecharger hawaii 5 0 saison 03

    It’s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • referencement conseils

    I rarely create remarks, but i did a few searching and wound up
    here Tumblr and then split (My case against excessive reblogging) | Comm de Garçon.
    And I do have a few questions for you if it’s allright. Is it only me or does it appear like some of the responses look like coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional sites, I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of all your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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