In order to create a Tumblr profile for myself I was not quite sure what type of information I would need to type in, until I signed into the site. An email and password were obvious, but what I was not really expecting was needing to enter my birthday and then choose “What I Would Like To Be Called”… I had no idea what to type in that box, so I put my name because truly, I like to be called Tiffany. Then I received a pop-up “That’s a good one, but it’s already taken” and next to it were ideas for other names I could choose from. Trying not to question the process too much, I decided that I l liked “awesometiffanyblog” the best, so I chose that and proceeded to the next page.
I was followed up with more questions, “What’re you Into?” the page was asking me. Next to the question was a series of pictures and titles, “Musicians, Home & Lifestyle, Parenting, Student, Pets, Comics, Etc.” The list seemed never ending, if there was something I was passionate about and ” in to” and it was not on that page I would have been surprised. So I clicked a few things that sparked my interest and a few of them, like “Parenting” had subcategories! “Pregnancy, Babies or Kids” I also could have chose from. So far the site seemed to be inclusive to many different types of personalities, yet had no information on privacy settings or even any pop-outs to let me know what the site was going to be used for.
The next page I was given another pop-up that said, “Talk to a Tumblr”… I had no idea what this meant, so for the learning experience, I clicked on it. It was giving me profile pictures to click on and send a message to, but I had no clue who these people were. So I left it as it was and figured maybe I would come back to it once I was more familiarized with some “Tumblr’s”.
For the next few moments I decided to explore a bit, and the next time I looked at my clock I realized a whole 20 minutes had passed by. I still had no clue how the site truly worked, except for the fact that it was a danger zone for people who are easily distracted like me. I was reading lengthy posts, short posts, looking at picture only posts and I was truly intrigued by what was going on, on the page. Then I remembered not to long before that moment that I had already “pre selected” what I “liked” and the platform created a domain for all the things I had said I was interested in. I was amazed at how easy it was to be linked into the site.
Then I decided to stop being so distracted by my own interests and figure out how this site really worked. Across the top of the page was a row of image tabs that linked to different pages. From what I could understand the six tabs are a home page, a page that shows trending & topic specific images, a mail page to show your messages that either you send or receive, the weird tab that lets me “talk to a Tumblr”, a tab that gives me updates on if people are commenting or “reblogging” my posts and lastly, my account preferences that has my profile page, account settings and other ways to make my site more personable. Ahhhh, finally. A link to the system preferences. It was time for me to dig into how to make my site more “private”, if that was possible.
I quickly discovered that Tumblr isn’t made to be private. The entire site is about sharing ideas, whether they are your ideas or someone else’s. This is my perspective anyways. So in order to find out if I was missing anything about what Tumblr is, I turned to do some research. The first, and most hilarious article I stumbled upon, was written in 2013 by a Doug Aarmoth who writes for TIME Magazine. In his article, which was based around describing Tumblr to “old-timers” said,
“Before there was social networking, there were blogs. And in an effort to muddle things, at one point in time the concept of blogging without trying too hard became known as microblogging. Tumblr is part microblogging, part social networking.” (Aarmoth 2013).
A few paragraphs down he then suggested that the reader should check out Tumblr’s “About” page, which I then did… Well at least tried to do. No where on my Tumblr site could I find an “About page”. So I turned to my best friend… Google. I then was linked to Tumblr’s About page and was given about 15 different tabs to chose from, all with a plethera of information about the site, who runs it, how to use it, a help page, and many more. Each tab consisted of paragraphs and paragraphs of information, almost like how a website consent page is, overwhelming to dissect and read along to.
Through my initial look at Tumblr I was definitely over loaded with information. After the step-by-step set up process, I was left to figure out this domain all on my own. Within a few logins to the site, I was getting a bit more comfortable with Tumblr and decided to move on in my research and dig a bit deeper into how this site truly runs.