So Yahoo acquired Tumblr. This might not bode well, considering what happened to Geocities, or it might bode at least kind of well, considering that Yahoo might have saved Flickr from itself. For what it’s worth, Marissa Mayer has promised “not to screw it up.”
I moved my “tangential hilarity” weblog to Tumblr from Livejournal in 2007, early in an exodus that caught up thousands of teens and fandom communities fleeing LJ’s gradual descent into stagnation following the SUP acquisition. Tumblr offered a fresh new way to publish in “tumblelog” format via a clean and usable interface that made it quick and easy to post, discover, reblog, and host original and found content. The ability to start a blog in minutes, slap a template onto it, and effortlessly populate and share the stream by just pasting links, image and video URLs, quotes, and chat logs — each with its own specialized format — not only removed friction from the blogging process, but further bolstered the web’s naturally postmodern environment as an authorless*, curated remix culture, for better or for worse*.
That whole dialectic of ownership and curation is Yahoo’s to deal with now — along with large volumes of pornography, teenage angst, Homestuck, and poor revenue.
Tumblr’s first employee, Marco Arment (also famous for Instapaper and The Magazine) has reflections on David Karp and the past and future of Tumblr.
Do Tumblr’s Audience Analytics Support its $1.1B Valuation? — by Carson Smith, a coworker when I was at US News & World Report.
* I refer to Barthes’ work on authorial intent in a postmodern context, but remind all bloggers to always be conscientious of attribution.