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Posts Tagged ‘social media

TL; DR or Why I Fear Not the Tumblr

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Lovecraft and Poe: would they have played well on 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?


Written by Jen Szymanski

September 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Three Reasons You’d Better Prep for a Crazy Cat Lady Explosion

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The Mayans’ powers of prognostication may or may not bear fruit this December, but there is still another apocalypse looming – the rise of the Crazy Cat Lady (CCL). For now, their power is limited to gathering in an orderly and humorous society, and to racking up a few million likes on YouTube.  But don’t be fooled!  We’re fated for a CCL explosion over the next few decades.  You probably have questions like “How can I identify a CCL?” and “Why should I be worried about a looming tuna shortage?” Read on for exclusive and comprehensive analysis of this impending disaster.

1. More and more of us are living alone.

Forget the traditional idea of domestic bliss, the young marrieds with their 2.5 adorable offspring. The narcissistic age ushered in by Facebook and Twitter means that we’re just not as good playing with others as we used to be. According to the marketing firm Euromonitor International, the number of people living alone has tripled since the 1950s. The same report claims that 18 million American women choose to make sure the toilet seat remains down. (About 14 million American males opt for a one-man habitat.) Solo living is good news if you’re not great at sharing the remote, but it’s bad news if you’re intent on maintaining a prime set of social skills. Why do so many people choose to be a singleton? Young people are especially adept at using technology to build and maintain social networks. Which leads to…

2. We’re as good (or better) at being social with our pets than with each other.

Need proof? Do you “staff” a Facebook page for your pet? If so, you’re in good company. Pet insurance specialists PetPlan claim that one in ten pets, if they could talk, would claim access to a Facebook or Twitter account, despite the lack of opposable thumbs required for typing on mobile devices. Half of us humans post or tweet about our pets regularly. The adventures of Mittens and Fido have drastically driven up page views (and revenue) for social networking sites. A dog named Boo boasts over 4.7 million followers on Facebook; Sockington the cat Tweets his wit and wisdom to 1.4 million humans daily. Think you’d have to be crazy to follow an animal on social media? Then you’ll love number three:

3. Cats are systematically implementing a plan to drive us clinically insane.

A Czech Republic scientist has been trying to warn us that a little critter called Toxioplasmosis gondii, a parasite common to both humans and felines, can infect us with almost no physical symptoms. Instead, this single-celled Protozoan it lies in wait, fundamentally altering the biochemistry of the human brain, and causing depression, suicides, schizophrenia, and other forms of erratic human behavior. Result? More cat-human relationships, and more online cat sites. It resembles a plot from a B-grade sci-fi movie: zombified humans slavishly catering to their kitty’s every whim.

The original feline host? Unaffected.

Perhaps it’s time to consider investing in Tidy Cat.

Written by Jen Szymanski

August 29, 2012 at 6:38 am