Hey guys! Today we launch a new pet project of mine: Geek and Sundry Vlogs channel! We’ve spent a few months now searching for the right voices to put on this channel, where vloggers will talk about all sorts of subjects: Comics, writing, thumb wrestling, Jeff Lewis from the Guild…things… We’ll be adding more over the summer (maybe you!)
Anyway, it’s a way for us to use the platform and grow new voices in geekdom rather than rely on celebrities. I really hope you like them, please SUBSCRIBE if you do, and if you like a particular vlogger make sure to share their video! They are starting from scratch so literally every view counts for them!
First, I love Tumblr and want to keep loving it. And yes, it is immediately terrifying to hear that Yahoo (which, from a lot of our perspectives, is a laughably backwards and culturally irrelevant company) is going to own Tumblr. I sympathize.
But there are a number of circumstances in which this will not be a disaster. Let’s think:
WHY TO NOT BE TERRIFIED
David Karp is being kept on as CEO for at least 4 years. Karp’s policies made Tumblr what it is.
Tumblr is only as good as we (its creators) are. The idea that the cultural identity and creations we’ve fostered here have become worth a billion dollars is both inspiring and worrisome. But nevertheless, since we hold the value, we hold the power.
Tumblr is being kept as a separate company. This is what Google did with YouTube and significant changes were very slow to come to YouTube (though they eventually came, and are still coming). My guess is there will be no significant changes to Tumblr for at least 12 months.
They’re buying it to become more culturally relevant. They know that controlling the platform will reduce or even remove that relevance, so they would be idiots to do it.
WHEN TO ABANDON SHIP
If Tumblr requires an account somehow linked to Yahoo.
If David Karp steps down, no matter what the reasons are.
If you have to pay to reach all of your followers (FACEBOOK!)
If Yahoo begins censoring legal images and videos.
If your dashboard becomes three columns by default.
If more than 10% of the dashboard is taken up by advertising.
ADVICE TO YAHOO! PEOPLE
Don’t do any of the above things or we will leave and you will own a billion dollar hole in the internet.
Drop the exclamation point for chrissake…it’s gaudy and grammatically confusing.
Yes, I do wish that Tumblr (being a more interesting kind of company) could have found a more interesting kind of exit for its founders and investors than the old standby of selling to a floundering company trying to revitalize itself. But I think Yahoo and Marissa Mayer are intelligent enough to not totally fuck it up. Here’s hoping.