Altogether, Tumblr has been entirely sufficient for my purposes and interests--until recently. Tumblr has instituted something called "Tumblarity," which as the portmanteau suggests is basically a metric of your Tumblelog's popularity. I don't know all the details but as far as I can tell, one's tumblarity is a ranking based on the number of times other Tumblr users "reblog" (i.e., repost) and "like" (i.e., click a little heart next to your item) your posts, how many followers you have, etc. This ranking is constantly shifting.
Here is a screenshot of a Tumblarity page (not mine):
The statistics at the top are somewhat interesting on the level of mere curiosity. But perhaps you can see how the socially competitive philosophy behind Tumblarity "top blogs" utterly clashes with my own desire to maintain a humble commonplace book. And what's more, Tumblr has made the Tumblarity number always visible on one's dashboard (the central page of all one's Tumblr activity). So you can't get away from it. There is no disable option (I have emailed Tumblr about this possibility but they have not responded). Well, actually you CAN get away if you use Firefox and install a certain Greasemonkey script. But what troubles me is that Tumblarity seems to indicate a desire on Tumblr's part to alienate introverts and reticents like me: the company simply assumes that everyone wants to be ranked. It is incredibly frustrating to see my commonplace book enlisted in a popularity contest. If they continue down this road I may have to abandon ship (if I may mix metaphors). Others of the same mind are already considering that option.
Follower counts, the infernal Tumblarity, Favrd: is there a place for the introverted blogger? Are there more uses for Tumblr than are dreamt of in this social networking philosophy? Or must the appetite for social competition devour everything?
Edited by du Garbandier, 12 August 2010 - 10:57 AM.