December 20, 2018

Goodbye, Tumblr

I posted on my Tumblr for years, nearly 10 years at my current user name. 999 posts. For my 1000th post, I am saying goodbye to Tumblr.

The platform doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. There’s a whole community there that I don’t have any part in, that is so different from when I started. I’ve either outgrown it, or it outgrew me. The content on my own Tumblr is content that I no longer identify with. Although I want to preserve it, I don’t want to interact with it any more. I have moved the archives here, to preserve them, but I won’t be posting any further updates to this section of my site.

Looking back on the posts is an interesting experience, and in reverse order I see all the things I shared on other social platforms, and cross-posted. Further back in time I see all the re-blogs, things I thought were especially funny, which I found while browsing Tumblr. Tumblr was something I used to browse frequently, more than daily. I logged on for the first time in probably a year to import these archives. Everything from 2018 was posted using IFTTT, without touching the Tumblr dashboard.

When Tumblr was new, it was supposed to be a curation of things you found interesting or funny. Less a community and more a personal website publisher, a smaller alternative to Wordpress or Blogger. It was a format based on the style of the (still going) kottke.org, and I was excited to be a part of something new, a new style of content curation and sharing. And for a time, I found this really valuable. When did the shine of the platform wear off for me? It must be years ago now. I can’t remember the last time I actively engaged with Tumblr.

Before I was rlpietraszek, when people were anonymous on the internet, I was stumblepeach.com (a URL I will always regret letting go). And when I was StumblePeach, I posted constantly; followed hundreds of people, posted content from all over the web, every day. Now, I don’t even remember what was there. Those archives I forgot to preserve, although thanks to the WayBack I can still see snippets like the one above. That was more than ten years ago, although I can hardly believe that.

These archives are an interesting museum of who I was on the internet, for a period of my life. I’m glad to have these links, these memes, these posts about Archie Comics and Megu, these screenshots of Adventure Time. The moment when I heard Double Rainbow for the first time, preserved for eternity. But I don’t have any attachment to the platform, or the format any more.

And so, goodbye, Tumblr.


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