Should Tumblr Care?

Well this is interesting.

Should Tumblr care? In response to issues with Tumblr, David Karp tells users to “go away” if they don’t like it

I love what services like Posterous and Tumblr are doing, but after dabbling a bit, I quickly found that having as much control as possible was the way to go, i.e. self-hosting.

Nothing against them, just not for me.

I’ve been watching Tumblr with some interest, their recent epic downtime, their recent adoption of Matthew Inman’s (@theoatmeal) downtime page, their decision to send 20 bloggers to New York fashion week.

Why? Mostly because they are an East Coast startup.

Nothing stirs the pot like a good old East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry, especially in tech where the Left Coast wrote the book, then revised and rewrote it a few times.

Anyway, apparently this is a true story. Tumblr’s founder told a paying customer of some note to “go away” when he expressed concern about the recent downtime and other issues.

Worth the read. Comments?




  1. (Oddly, find myself reading this one on the East Coast as I wait for Jet Blue 647 from JFK to SFO)

    That’s the wrong response to give to user feedback. Sounds like he doesn’t really understand how to engage in these kind of user conversations. Fix the performance issues or the loss of users will fix the issue for you.

    I’m trying out tumblr too. It’s kinda like the iphone + tablet + laptop debate (I’m carrying two laptops and two iphones onto the plane btw), with tumblr falling into the middle of the twitter – blogging spectrum. It’s another channel, but I am not so sure I can maintain all these channels or need to. Perhaps tumblr will attract more people to write and share richer information and that’s a good thing – People who would never blog but who do tweet. Big time bloggers and tweeters I think will bypass it.

    I must check out Instagram

  2. Yeah, the title is a rhetorical question. Tumblr (and Posterous) have found success with quick media sharing, but Facebook is squeezing that niche. I don’t see a lot of users for Tumblr, Posterous and to split, so one platform is likely to triumph.

    Obviously, more reason to be civil to your users.

    Re. the laptop/tablet/phone debate, there isn’t much difference between Posterous/Tumblr and a blogging platform like WordPress.

  3. The difference for me between Tumblr and WordPress is that with the former, relationships established appear to be between content and not users. Figuring out the whole following thing on Tumblr without able to comment on content seems weird to me. Discussion for another day maybe.

    On the subject of feedback, I’d be interested to see how Quora respond to feedback, like this from Scobelizer (though how he thought it was a blogging platform beats me).

    I have to say, having used Quora since December that I find the experience of having my questions zealously edited by non-domain experts (thus sometimes losing the meaning) annoying. I’d sooner moderators/reviewers or whatever help me find answers by hooking me up with people who might have an answer rather than editing the question.

    Of course, they may choose to not make any changes in response.

  4. Yeah, I’m not buying the difference between Tumblr and WordPress. At the end of the day, it’s a blogging platform.

    If anything, all the Valley buzz about Quora has driven me away; I suppose I just don’t have that many questions I need answered, and I’m not interested in passive-aggressive arguing about the completeness or veracity of my own answers.

    Twitter does a better job of lazy web Q&A, mainly bc its input limitations force brevity.

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