Best-Of Advice

On the sale of tumblr

I have a bad feeling (ha) about the future of Tumblr now that it’s owned by the most confusing, cluttered, un-navigable website on the Internet. I have visions of ADS! ADS! ADS! all over my dashboard. After all, no one buys something for $B that they don’t think they’ll make $2B on. Even if their wish is naive, I’m sure they’ll try like hell to make it happen.

This all started crumbling for me before, though, when two of my favorite (and responsible) people at Tumblr resigned and when, soon after (though unrelated, I’m sure), Tumblr inexplicably pulled my black dashboard from me, made me suffer with the puke-teal-grey color that I loathe, and refused to respond to anyone’s questions about the insipid decision.

Still, the Staff account hasn’t addressed the “Tumblr Community” that they were somehow awarded a Webby for, about the sale and letting us know what’s in store for all our data, etc. I don’t know, maybe they have and I missed it.

Do I sound like a bitter 4-year old? I was curious about your take on the whole thing.

I’m not worried.

We’ve had half a decade with Tumblr, which is a goddamned eon in internet years. We’ve watched it grow from a few thousand hipsters in Brooklyn to a hundred million hipsters all over the world. We’ve lived through the inception of the like button, the ridiculousness that was Tumblarity, countless error screens patronizing us with those damned TumbleBeasts, and all the while, we’ve never had a search function that actually worked.

Tumblr has always been a sloppy mess. It’s a treehouse for the cool kids. It was slapped together in the backyard of the internet by amateurs who were just figuring out how to use a hammer and nails. There’s spray paint on the walls and a pile of porn in the corner next to a boom box and the stoner kid’s bong. We all come up here to escape our boring lives and our annoying parents and listen to music and make out with each other. We feel like it’s ours, even though it’s been in someone else’s yard the whole time.

Yahoo paid a billion dollars for our treehouse, which is fucking nuts when you think about it, because the treehouse is worthless as soon as the cool kids decide to stop coming. We know it, they know it, and they know we know it. That’s why I’m not worried.

Yahoo needs us to keep showing up. They need us to keep looking at porn and figuring out how to do bong rips and making out with each other in the corner. They desperately need us, and maybe they charge a couple hundred grand to let corporations sneak in and spray paint something on the wall. So what? It’ll get painted over in a day.

But hey, who knows? Maybe Yahoo will fuck it up big time. Maybe they’ll come in and knock down the walls and put up permanent billboards. I doubt it. I don’t think they’re that stupid. They paid a billion dollars for the treehouse with the cool kids, and if we don’t want to play here anymore, they’re shit out of luck.

Still, if they fuck it up, they fuck it up. There’s nothing we can do. It’s not ours. It never was. That’s okay, though. Nothing lasts forever, especially a treehouse, and all those fun times we had together? Those will always be ours. They can never have them.


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