As a new Forbes profile of Tumblr founder David Karp attests, the minimalist blogging platform is more popular than ever. One sign of its increasing popularity is that “tumblr” is now more-searched on Google than “blog.” And this is the crucial make-or-break year for the site. There’s pressure on the company to reach $100 million in revenue by the end of this year.
The main bearer of this pressure is Karp, who is portrayed in the Forbes piece as living a life in tune with his product. He owns as little as possible, packs very lightly for trips, and lives in a strikingly spartan apartment in Williamsburg. He sees minimalism as the key to freedom. So far it seems like the application of these ideals to social media has struck a chord with a lot of people.
What do you think of Tumblr? Is it an essential part of your daily routine? Do you like the image-based aesthetic? Do you find yourself writing or reading less longer texts? As Drake put it, are people living vicarious lives through Tumblr rather than creating their own memories?
The standard usage of Tumblr to post and reblog images or quotes seems like an attempt to project a carefully maintained image. I think it’s a kind of expression, but to me a very stilted, unsatisfying expression. Tumbl’ing is like redecorating your apartment several times a day or changing your wardrobe constantly. And every image is second- or thirdhand. There’s not a ton of creativity involved, moreso a kind of taste curation.
Obviously the platform doesn’t have to be used in the standard way, though. Many people use Tumblr for essays even though it’s not the most natural fit for that. Some people only post original content on their Tumblrs. Much like Twitter, Tumblr can be as creative as you make it.