Lots of consternation in Tumblrville over the new Tumblr Tumblarity feature.
It’s not the infographics on the page that interest me, rather it’s the trend of emphasizing a user’s popularity on the network. Lamentably, I think this metric will come to define the experience for the next generation of social networks. I fear that the internet’s utility for many people will equate to constant awareness of one’s value, and the play of meaningless games to increase the sum. This in turn will render many networks impersonal and irrelevant. Like a candidate’s bid speech for high school class presidency, I fear my Tumblr dashboard will become padded with ‘popular stuff’ sure to garner votes rather than the intimate, vulnerable and quirky bits that I’ve enjoyed, and define Tumblr’s personality.
I’m disappointed by Tumblarity, and Ashton’s follower count for the same reasons. I liked the Internet better when it was nebulous, and now I’m depressed that it shaping up to be a social pyramid.
My take? While I concur with the sentiment expressed in oppostion, I think Tumblr user protest in response is a bit harsh for a wonderful service that’s provided free of cost, and exceeds all those other (micro)?blogging platforms in circulation.
Maybe it’s because I do most of my Tumblr wading via the actual web pages and not from the Tumblr dashboard. But even on the Tumblr dashboard, you can just ignore the Tumblarity link if it doesn’t suit your fancy. And for those that relish in that type of analytics, it’s all groovy too.
Or perhaps it’s because it’s not my interest to craft posts for “the masses”. I recognize that there’s a limited appeal to the stuff I clip, note and comment upon. If you’re looking for riotous pictures, soft porn, embarrassing real life anecdotes, or breaking internet memes, you’ve arrived at the wrong web locale (though you might find the keyboard cat ;)).
Honestly, I believe Tumblr has provided just about every feature I’ve ever publicly requested. Search capability was the big fulfillment, and that alone left me overjoyed.
But were I to be a spoiled Tumblr glutton, here’s the next wave of new features that would delight me:
- Analytics on how many “reads” I collect from the Tumblr dashboard. So I can compare to who’s looking in from the web page experience. Like a breakdown of Tumblr users v. Tumblr visitors.
- Ability to modify post type on a reblog. Frequently, I attempt to reblog, but the post format (typically a photo post, but not exclusively confined to that specific category), just doesn’t gel with my stylesheet here. So I have to clip just like it was derived from a non-Tumbler site — even though I attribute properly, I still feel like I cheated that Tumblr out of a “reblog”.
- Improved reblog threads. Would really like to see the reblog mechanism work like “Comments 2.0+”. The Notes feature is a nice stab, but it’d be nice to have threaded, the reblog stream, with all the different words shown, and the like words displayed only once.