Tumblr is a micro-blogging community that is designed to publish short, succinct posts for the discerning web user. Tumblelogs (as they have been christened in Tumblr-land) are usually extremely simplistic collections of images, videos or audio clips. If you are looking for an deep, insightful read about how the world works and why some clothes shrink when you’ve put them in the dryer, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place.
Tumblr users can opt to “follow” another, and this creates a sort of RSS-feed type of system that comes up on their “dashboard”. There is the option of “reblogging”. One would usually “reblog” interesting content. This feature specifically makes Tumblr a core medium for internet memes to breed.
Tumblr seems to attract a certain demographic. Young, aesthetically-inclined (i.e. creative or desperately-wanting-to-be creative types) with an eye for pretty things on the World Wide Web. Here is a deeply entertaining documentary/mockumentary about Tumblr that got me laughing for a good ten minutes:
Jokes aside, I personally find Tumblr a fantastic resource for creative inspiration. Users can easily grab media off the web and publish it on their Tumblelog. When the Tumblr community decides that it is worthy of a reblog, that bit of media will have the opportunity to be passed to to hundreds (maybe even thousands) of Tumblelogs, which in turn will be seen by hundreds/thousands of eyes.
One of the issues that I have with Tumblr though, is copyright. Tumblr users usually grab pictures off resources like Flickr and upload them without any credit. This behaviour is commonplace on Tumblr, and accepted by the majority. I personally do my best to include a line of credit on every post I make, whenever possible. While I haven’t heard of any copyright issues that has affected Tumblr, I do think that it is Tumblr’s responsibility to ensure that their users are aware that taking someone’s work and publishing it as their own is wrong and certainly against the law as far as I know.
That said, I still love Tumblr as a space for me to collect and share any media that inspires me on the web. And yes, this is my cue to shamelessly plug my Tumblr site. Do feel free to visit and be inspired!