For artists, writers, and the rest of the creative population the Internet is becoming a very interesting place to be. With sites like RedBubble, DeviantART and Society6 individuals are being given the opportunity to get out there and be seen. Yet one of the most interesting places on the net at the minute is Tumblr, all you have to do is go to the homepage and see the words ‘follow the world’s creators’ to know that you have found something that isn’t going to generate the general sarcasm and rolling of the eyes that Facebook can on a day to day basis.
Tumblr combines the things I love in one place: art, fandom and community. Tumblr is a microblogging platform that goes beyond Twitter, it goes a little bit deeper than that, it enables users to post images, videos, music without the emphasis on it being a social network. You don’t comment on posts, you reblog them and manipulate them to your own view; you add your ideas or you add your emotional reaction (usually by a GIF of David Tennant crying in the rain). You don’t have friends, you have followers, although a follower on Tumblr often has a greater kinship with you than a follower on Twitter might, and you don’t even send messages, you ask questions. Tumblr is where the interesting and the intelligent get to meet and be creative.
It’s also a place of discovery. Tumblr is not based upon who you’re friends with or celebrities, it’s about your interests, the things you love, and because of that you are able to build on that because you’re connecting with people who love them too. I have read books that I never would have thought to read because someone has posted a quote from them on their Tumblr.
It’s also an incredible platform for getting yourself out there and known, especially if you want to get into the creative industries. The features of tracked tags and reblogging creates a chain of people seeing and further passing on your ideas and images, enabling any individual to get their work out there with ease. I really wouldn’t be surprised if the idea was not originally generated by the idea of chain mail, but with an actual gain for all involved.
An average day on Tumblr can see someone post quotes from Sylvia Plath, their latest oil painting and then five minutes later GIFs of foxes bouncing on a trampoline. It’s a very funny, strange corner of the Internet, but it’s where exciting things are happening and I would have it over Facebook and Twitter any day.