Why Don’t Researchers Care About Tumblr?
I read a social media study yesterday from a research agency which had my eyebrows rising a bit. It was a global study talking about people’s awareness and usage of various platforms, and it seemed very compehensive. It talked about Facebook and Twitter, it examined the Pinterest phenomenon, it had a good secton on V-Kontakte, and it delved down as far as almost-forgotten networks like Ning and Bebo. So that made one of its omissions even more glaring.
No Tumblr. Not a mention. Not in the graphs, the analysis, nowhere.
I really, really want to see some in-depth work on tumblr demographics - I enjoy the way that I can go around saying “the kind of people who are on tumblr” and expect my interlocutor to understand me and it could mean a whole bunch of different things. social justice tumblr! crush gif tumblr! street fashion tumblr! high art tumblr! internet art tumblr! I mean, all are people in a rough range 13-40something who have access to computers, but within that. Wouldn’t it be amazing to know even how much tumblr real estate is taken up by people who just reblog, or just produce new posts, or restrict themselves just to downton abbey anigifs, or exist within various impossible-to-render venn diagrams of image macro and haute couture video and personal post.
There are 75.1 million blogs on tumblr right now and faced with that godspeed you cat emperor image 5000+ of its users had positive feelings (i.e. likes and reblogs adding up to 5538 ‘notes’: i refuse to believe that any of those were rebuttal reblogs). The way that image spread, the intersection of friend-group and interest group and shared nostalgia and shared present preoccupation, how that image appeared among other posts on any individual’s tumbelog: there is so much here!
Self-reblogging for Cis’ excellent comments! Exactly, as well as the very general top-level stuff that’s getting ignored there’s a WEALTH of detail for (maybe less commercial) researchers who want to dig deeper.