3 NICE THINGS, AND WHY YOU CANNOT HAVE THEM ON TUMBLR
WHY TUMBLR IS THE WANKIEST PLACE THAT DOESN’T REQUIRE A CREDIT CARD NUMBER
That awkward moment when you’re backreading your tumblr dash and you find yourself in the middle of yet another spiraling fandom argument involving from all perspectives people you enjoy and respect.
And you think, not for anything like the first time, that tumblr is TERRIBLE for this. It is. It is an awful, bewildering venue for
fandomany conversations and I’ve yet to see signs it’s ever going to improve.
Before I get into why, I want to make a disclaimer, because people have been hurt, and I 100% do not wish to add to that. I’m not admonishing people for taking tumblr interaction too “seriously”, or that the offense caused isn’t “real” enough, or arguing that if you know what’s REALLY going on you’d see that everyone is blameless in everything and no one is behaving badly ever (lol, right).
I’m just going to talk about a pattern I’ve seen repeat itself over and over again, and suggest a possibility for why people have been getting so hurt, so quickly, in tumblr interactions specifically. We’ve been in a persistent state of COMMUNICATION FAIL (yes, more than I’ve ever noticed in past fandoms, and that’s a high bar as it is), and any attempts to solve this via communication have been of little use because they are lost in the underlying COMMUNICATION FAIL.
(Note: Sometimes people really can’t communicate with each other! Their world assumptions are too different, or one or all is not interested in listening! That’s no surprise, and not what I’m talking about here, which is why people who *generally agree* and are to some extent interested in allowing other opinions end up upset and attacked by each other.)
(Q: So why are Homestuck fans so terrible?)
(A: I don’t believe that they are, but what they are is part of a feral fandom that has reared itself largely in tumblr space.)
When it comes to means of (open) fandom conversation, I started out in a mailing list based fandom, then message boards, then (live)journals, and lastly tumblr. (Jeez I sound old. I guess I am, comparatively, but in my defense I found the holdover LISTSERVs when I was like 11? I have no “before I fandom” story.) So those 4 things are what I’m going to compare for my argument!
And my argument, which I will argue on tumblr, is that tumblr is the worst for arguing productively! Oh, this is going to work so well.
So this is a very interesting piece about how Tumblr structures (and distorts) communications, which is something I tried to think about once with less success than this. In particular I like the conclusion that it could potentially be a positive thing that Tumblr creates ‘conversations’ that are outside any one person’s control, but only if Tumblr didn’t insist on messing us about in a bunch of other ways.