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Tumblr, being the renowned “micro blogging platform and social networking website” that it is, successfully hosts well over 174.3 million dedicated bloggers. Allowing users to post multimedia and other content into a short-form blog presents an enticing drawing board for those who enjoy blogging. Everyone has their own pre-conceived notions of what a “blogger’s” goal is but every blogger comes to Tumblr for their own unique purpose.
While I’m not familiar with the art of blogging, signing up for a Tumblr account gave an insight to what is really involved in being part of such a digital community. When the webpage first appears, you will notice the title in lowercase letters, followed by the slogan, “Follow the blogs you’ve been hearing about. Share the things you love.” These are most likely the words that reel in the true bloggers. Beneath Tumblr’s slogan is the signup fill-ins. Keeping in mind the fast paced and somewhat impatient lifestyles of American’s, this blogging site strategically structured their signup to only require three fill-ins. To express their success in popularity and reiterate their speedy signup, towards the bottom of the page a user will see three large-font numbers with descriptions below each of the numbers. 174.3 representing the millions of bloggers, 78.5 to represent the billions of posts, and, last but not least, 30 to represent the seconds it takes to sign up. Once you push past the dreadful 30 second sign-up, you’re taken to a page that begins the magic. Under the “Welcome to Tumblr!” , You can find instructions stating that you should find blogs and follow three. Off to the right hand side of the page is a list of trending blogs that surely peak the interest of whomever stumbles across it. Following instructions, I instinctively chose the three that were most appealing and clicked the button that said, “Next step”. Then I was granted the option to now make my own blog. As a statement of relief, above the blog creator stated, “ And don’t stress about it. You can change this stuff whenever.” In the blog-creator was an option to upload a picture, create a title, and make a description. The possibilities of background options were endless. There were free and paid options to choose from. The many choices can truly capture many different personalities. Once completing that step, an additional option popped up. This pop up asked that I choose which operating system I use so they can email me a web address to my phone’s app store so I can download the Tumblr app. Finally, the home screen, also known as the “Dashboard”, appears. Across the top of my dashboard, are the options to share text, photos, quotes, web links, chats, audio links and videos. The blogs take up about 75% of the page and their content vary in topics from politics to fashion. It is easy to find your niche here with huge pictures being displayed in list form down the page. Just from the earlier option of choosing three blogs to follow, I now have a news feed of pictures posted from those bloggers. Clicking on a picture brings me to the owner’s page and I now have the option to scroll down to see more from the owner, unfollow, or message the user. Beneath the pictures posted from each blogger is a section dedicated to comments from their followers. Tumblr features the vertical placement of lines in order to track the relays of messages beneath the users multimedia content. This keeps the conversations neat and orderly allowing for ease of communication. These comments are named “Notes”. Next to the blog’s notes are options for the followers to either, “re-blog” or “like”. Upon choosing the option to “re-blog”, you will be redirected to a second page that allows you to take the content of your choice and redistribute it as your own while giving credit to the initial owner. In addition to the aforementioned options is the ability to add “hash tags” to link your blog to a certain title. In other words, if you were to post a picture of a puppy, you can add the hash tag #cute puppies. This way, if a viewer clicks that same hash tag on someone else’s blog they will see your post there as well as any other blogger that used that hash tag. This not only allows an ease of connecting people of the same interests to one another, it also displays peoples work to whoever searches that specific keyword. Overall, there is minimum effort required for correspondence and networking amongst other users.
One of the most effective treatments for stress is utilizing an outlet to relieve the tensions that come along with everyday life. For those who find scribbling thoughts into a journal or diary mundane, typing or posting pictures onto a website is just the key. It provides that person the ability to be an individual in the midst of other individuals. Frequently found on Tumblr, are solemn blogs that embody the true feelings of one who just needs an audience to hear their cries.
What differentiates Tumblr from many other social media sites with the exception of Twitter is the way in which the site administrators address their users. When you first sign up for an account on Tumblr, you must first accept the terms and conditions. While it is expected to go through this common procedure, the words used throughout the agreement were unexpected to say the least. At first glance, the contract appears to be like any other contract until you read past the first paragraph. Beneath the opening paragraph of the agreement is: “You have to be at least 13 years old to use Tumblr. We’re serious: it’s a hard rule, based on U.S. federal and state legislation. “But I’m, like, 12.9 years old!” you plead. Nope, sorry. If you’re younger than 13, don’t use Tumblr. Ask your parents for a PlayStation 4, or try books.”
The administrators appealed to the users and took a more casual approach to the contract. Many users may feel that that it is refreshing or uncommon to find a website using such common language and humor instead of the systematic words that other sites use. This aspect can easily grab the attention of users.
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