I think Iâ€™m getting old. Too old for Tumblr, maybe–or most social networks in general, but Tumblrâ€™s on my mind at the moment. Almost a year ago, I opened my Tumblr account; my intent was to supplant my WordPress blog with the smaller, walled-off garden.
Size mattered. Few people read my WordPress–an amalgamation of literature + personal thoughts, a conflation which bordered on the schizophrenic–not to mention the monthly server bill I had to pay because I just had to have a self-hosted blog. Only the cool bloggers use dot-com domains, so Iâ€™ve heard.
Letâ€™s back up a second. Iâ€™ve blogged off and on for about five years. Theyâ€™re all dead now–the blogs: there were incidents; mistakes were made. Anyway, kinda like fiction, it took me awhile–five years–to understand that thereâ€™s a craft to blogging.
Iâ€™m frustrated by this fact; I wasted five years; writing is never a waste, mind you; Iâ€™m referring to writing without cognizance. Ignorant writing/blogging: I couldâ€™ve done without that, but at least now I know.
Tumblr again. I donâ€™t get it. I mean, I get the logistics–I know how to use the dashboard, post up quotes and links and pictures. When I got to Tumblr, I gravitated toward the Text button. Tumblr users, generally speaking, donâ€™t like text–well, large swathes of text.
A blurb is acceptable, a stray thought as shiny and ephemeral as a gum wrapper, depending on what is written and whoâ€™s following, will get re-blogged. Two paragraph maximum–get in, speak your peace, get out–while copious amounts of visual media are heralded: the gifs; the videos; the gifs; the gifs; the gifs; titty pics; the gifs.
The blogger must have a reason to do this thankless, penniless, lonesome work; man does not live on bread and author platforms alone. Is social networking a veiled ruse, a feigned attempt to connect?
Today, I’m a member of Generation Y—I read it on a blog—and we’re accused of wanting to be stars. Bloggers as viral wordsmiths. Funny. Maybe there is no other way to connect anymore. Show me yours; I’ll show you mine—or a reasonable facsimile I right-click-copied from another blog.
To go viral is to infect. Fuck you. I’m a man.
The allure of the blog, in all its vapid splendor, is the hope for a reliable narrator. I want to trust in you. I want to know your pain is my pain, that you’re more than a chain email, a robotic voice imprisoned inside an automated call system.
You automaton motherfucker, blessed android wanting to return to analog, fleshy form—do you blog as I blog? To stretch your wires through the ether, hoping for bony or stubby fingers at the other end?
Back to WordPress
So anyway, while I still have and use my Tumblr blog, Iâ€™ve since gone back to WordPress–under my real name, in fact, but thatâ€™s irrelevant. Like I said, I donâ€™t get Tumblr–but I get it. I get what its inventor(s) intended: micro-blogging mixed with user-created media to build, update and communicate oneâ€™s lifestream.
This is where we part ways to a degree–Tumblr and I–because nothing about my life requires a stream of media. Hell, I tend to forget about the camera on my iPhone. Granted, I love Instagram–blame it on the filters–but I rarely provide updates and flicks and blurbs in real time. I forget to report on my own life. In the moment, that is.
Iâ€™m not shitting on Tumblr or touting WordPress. I shouldâ€™ve mentioned this upfront. Oh well (nope, not editing).
WordPress is tougher to master than Tumblr. I have nothing to sell–no product, no brand (not even myself)–so I have to work at blogging. To make you care, I mean. This is my biggest problem with blogging; Iâ€™m sure this infects my creative writing as well: I get all blocked and messy and diarrhetic when I start blogging, thinking What would make my reader care? I could be like, Well fuck the reader but thatâ€™s not optimal customer service, so care I must.
For every “I” in a blog post, there is an equal and opposite. Blogging is literature, the symbiosis between author and stranger. “In the year three thousand and thirty, everybody wants to be an emcee.”
Until then? Bloggers. In the year two thousand and eleven, everybody has a story to tell. I’m game. You game? Awesome. I got the hotel room key right here. My name’s Thomas. And you are?