New tumblr things?



1. Tumblarity. Verdict: Cynical.

cui bono? …


[added therefrom:] It’s about how frequently you post. In other words, it’s about how much value you are adding to the network as a whole. … That alone is probably enough to get a certain sort of person competing and a cynic might say that’s all Tumblr is trying to do.

Indeed. But in any case, it’s clear that there is a positive component to this: it creates a recursive information loop on the relationality of the system. This, indeed, inclines the system to something more than eavesdropping and poking (Facebook) or … whatever it is Twitter does. I think that ethics, with a capital E, is about relationality, so I approve, or am at least intrigued, on that score.

What’s really got me is the ranking, and it can’t not be gamed because by their nature social networks are a process of gaming. For example, a ton of really popular tumblrs are almost entirely image-based, and post a ton of pictures, many of them quite excellent. Take this tumblr I stumbled upon and started following yesterday: Today, I unfollowed it for a simple reason: it swamped my dashboard, and that’s not what I’m doing here (mostly). And, it’s only about ten pics a day.

This embodies what I shall deem, ahem, the Tumblarity-Relationality Paradox, wherein the index of Tumblarity is inversely proportional to the relational richness of each connection. Prediction: this hiearchy will begin stratifying the connections for some, but not for those who ignore it. Two distinct tumbl-forms shall emerge. One of mega Tumblarity, idle browsing on the whimsical thoughts of others, and the other of, well, mostly like the people I follow, node-tumblng (tumblarity: somewhere between 10 and 40, I’d imagine, a sustainable community, which could shrink or grow a little and still continue nonetheless).

All that being said: whad Tumblr does need to have some sort of following-folders or second-level following, so that you can essentially turn most of what you follow off, or relegate to your other tumblrs, etc (which is how my and came into being; then I emailed the tumblr-people and they said ‘Sorryno’). Instead, I’ve opened a totally separate account ( where I’ve tried to do just that, but which is really failing because it is a different account, and a different dashboard.

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