Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

about Tumblr

“This Is Why Your Tumblr’s Down” — because, if I read the piece rightly, David Karp doesn’t want to spend the money to hire more engineers to keep the backend functioning smoothly.

Well, whatever. I started my tumblelog more than four years ago, and for a long time it was a great place for me to store and present quotations and images that caught my attention. At one point I decided to shut it down, but only because I was trying to simplify my online life; I missed posting things to it, and a number of people said they missed my posts, so I resumed.

But then last year the site started to go down more and more frequently. Days would go by without my being able to get to it. In frustration I moved everything over to Posterous, but that required me to spend too much time fiddling with formatting, and the site, while always up, was really slow. Back to Tumblr.

Which meant, back to not knowing whether the site would be up at any given time. Eventually I got tired of the uncertainty and just stopped trying to post to the site. I stopped trying to visit the Dashboard to see what others were posting. I didn’t make a conscious decision to do this; I just stopped bothering. For nearly four years I posted stuff to my tumblelog because I didn’t doubt what would happen if I did so; but when I went through an extended period when I couldn’t guess whether the site would be up or not, it just got to be too much trouble. Instead of posting things to Tumblr or Posterous for everyone to see, I just posted things to Pinboard for me to see. I am reading as much as ever and recording my reading, but I’ve just drifted out of the habit of using Tumblr.

This is what unreliability does: it changes your habits, even if you don’t make a conscious decision to abandon a service.


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