TL; DR or Why I Fear Not the Tumblr
Look out writers, Tumblr is in tha’ house. Assuming the Mayans are wrong, and we make it to the end of 2012, “Tumblr” is set to overtake “blog” in Google searches by the end of 2012. Is this the end of blogging as we know it? Is even a 500 word post going to qualify for TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read”) status?
Ever since Nicholas Carr’s 2008’s hand wringing article on how Google is changing the way we think appeared in The Atlantic, we’ve worried about what is technology doing to us and whether we are witnessing the death of communication as we know it. We fret that texting lingo and cramming thoughts into 140 characters on Twitter has irrevocably changed publishing. And blogging? Don’t get us started. Blogging takes too much work, says society. Social media is the way to go.
To make matters worse, in bursts Tumblr to kick writers while we’re down. For those of you who aren’t one of the approximately 65 million who run a Tumblr micro-blog, a big chunk of the content is visual. Photos, videos, are easily shared, and reblogged. Because of its social media aspect, (blogged items from users you follow come into your view via a dashboard,) quotes, text, and links can be easily lost. But I say don’t throw flowers on my blog’s casket just yet.
Here’s why: I adore Tumblr. I admit it. I love the insane GIFs, the unfettered human emotion. The creativity (oh, the joyous celebration of creativity!) The chaos of some Tumblrs, the focused nature of others. And I think “traditional” bloggers can learn from it. I think if I’m going to be serious about writing, I need to do as some of the microbloggers on Tumblr do. If you want to make an impact on Tumblr, you need to do it creatively, boldly, and in as few words as possible. So I write. And revise, trying to paint as visual as a picture as I can with as few words as possible. To be brave, creative. To accept feedback (even the less than flattering variety.) And live to blog another day.
What do you think? Do Tumblr and Twitter “count” as blogging (as some have suggested?) Do you have a Tumblr? If so, how do you use it – to promote your blog? Or to just be creative?