I gave Tumblr a few years, but the platform’s social affordances fall short.
For a number of reasons, I am planning to defect from Tumblr and do all the long form writing that I formerly did on Tumblr here, on Medium. Those reasons include these:
- Medium is becoming the best community for public discourse, which Tumblr once may have seemed to be, at least to me. But even before the acquisition by Yahoo, Tumblr seemed to change, or maybe my feelings about it did.
- Tumblr’s editor was recently changed to be more like Medium. However, I have invested a great deal of time and effort in CSS tweaks that are now difficult to use. In Medium, I won’t even try to fool with that: I’ll just go with the Medium defaults.
- I like the Medium side notes and other social affordances. Tumblr’s David Karp has disliked the premise of comments, and so never implemented them. Tumblr is now a social mess: Disqus comments embedded into themes, fan mail, likes, and reposts never solidify into a social space where reciprocity and response can be balanced. I think Medium is a better way.
- I’ve been a fan of Tumblr’s curated topics, like the one for Tech curation. However, those are closed off, and available only to Tumblr users and only when logged in. I will miss it some, but it’s a unsocial experience.
I will continue to use stoweboyd.com on Tumblr, but it will likely become more of a day book, where I capture snippets, quotes, and fragments. Anything of real heft will be posted here, either in a publication like Work Futures (formerly The Future Of Work And Business), or in my stream as medium.com/@stoweboyd. I will also repost — over time — old pieces from stoweboyd.com that are still relevant or worthy of memorializing. Someday I may move from Tumblr altogether, so I will start the transition.
I know I am walking away from 165K followers on Tumblr, but I wonder how real that number is, and the network it is supposed to represent. For those in the subset of that huge number that really want to read what I will be writing going forward, come over to Medium and follow me there. I will try to not disappoint you.