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Tumblr: Not the Next Great Social Network

I have never been a person who has been into social networking or blogging. I do, however, love the Internet. It allows me to find information I’m looking for and gives me the ability to see peoples’ art from all over the world which I would not have access to otherwise.

Recently, I’ve heard many people talking about the blogging site Tumblr. A site I regularly visit, deviantART, a place where artists post their work and writers post their stories, has users who all seem to be making Tumblrs.

Tumblr is a site for microblogging, short-form blogging where anyone can post text or images on just about any topic. This has similarities to Twitter, with not only followers and micro-blogs, but also the “reblog” function which reminds me of re-tweeting, reposting what someone else has written — with credit to them, of course. A difference between Twitter and Tumblr is the character limit restrictions— while Tumblr is for microblogging, users are allowed to make posts as long as they want provided they add a “read more” break in the text.

After a week of  having my own Tumblr, I must admit it’s not as addicting as I hoped it would be. Yes, there are interesting topics, such as ispyafamousface where people put pictures of celebs in lesser known roles, but this is the kind of thing I may look at once and never feel the need to look at again. I also feel this is a site based on how popular you are, which seems to be the case for every social networking or blog site. From my experience, if you don’t have a link to this site on your Facebook or Twitter, people don’t want to “follow” you.

Not having a Facebook or Twitter, I have a following of about zero people. Or maybe I’m just a really boring person. Either way, it seems, at least starting out you have to have some people you know to follow you. These don’t need to be “in real life” friends but can be people you know from other sites.

Another con for me was that no page popped up making sure that I read the rules or ToS (that’s terms of service in case you don’t know). In my opinion, this is a problem because there is no big page that says to read what we can and cannot do on this site or even if there is a specific age limit, such as no one under thirteen should make an account.

There are terms to read, but they don’t seem to be followed, such as “no material deemed threatening or obscene.” Two days into exploring the site, I saw a lot of pornographic or non-tasteful nudity in the art and illustration section.

There are good aspects to the site. For example, there is Microaggressions, where people share their stories about negative encounters they’ve had due to their gender identity, sex, race or sexual orientation. These “no big deals” in our society cause people to feel excluded or alone and oppressed, and it is great to see people dedicated to informing people against saying negative things. There is a whole section dedicated to LGBTQ — that is, Lesbians, Gays, Bi, Transgender and Queer — which I have not seen on a lot of other sites.

Tumblr is a good site if you’re fighting for something or into short blogs. I’ll admit, there are also fun blog topics, like, once again, ispyafamousface, or a place to see peoples’ art and photography. But if you want a site that doesn’t make you fall into traps of rated M photography or images, stay on Facebook or Twitter. I’d probably have a better time chatting with friends and posting on those two sites.