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If you're here for my artwork I suggest you follow my art blog instead as this blog is a mishmash of silliness and personal posts.
This blog can and will contain artwork (mine and others), personal posts, occasional fandom posts, cute animals, selfies, and social justice sometimes.
I am dealing with depression and anxiety and sometimes might talk about it.
If you ever need someone to talk to or share your problems with, my ask box is open to you.
She asked me the following:
Moments ago, I participated in surprise conference call with Tumblr staff members. They have indicated to me that they continue to take issue with Missing e even with the removal of usage of the Tumblr API.
Missing-e says that it’s not breaching any terms set by tumblr. Could missing-e really be messing with tumblr that much, or is the staff just being cautious/jealous of its popularity?
The short answer, from where I sit? Jealous: certainly not. Cautious: incredibly. And they have to be.
Customization is not always a good thing. You know this if you’ve ever picked up a friend’s iOS device: it works the same way, pretty much, on every device. Grid of icons. Not much else. Swipe around and open one up. What you might see as restrictive is simply Apple’s way of keeping their operating system clean and usable, lest you go ahead and try crap like this. This reminds me of Marco and Dan Benjamin discussing Twitter’s likely motivation for its acquisition of Tweetdeck on Build and Analyze #26. Let me toss a few scenarios out there, and maybe you’ll get my point:
- Tumblr releases a new feature that breaks functionality of Missing e. A small percentage of Tumblr users—the heavy, most vocal ones—are furious and either don’t use the new feature, or complain loudly and vaguely through social media about stupid things Tumblr is doing. This affects public perception of Tumblr.
- Tumblr’s strategy of optimizing their site relies, almost certainly, on collecting data from the usage of its users through what they click on and how they use certain features. Missing e completely bastardizes this data to the point where it’s unusable for the subset of users it could most help.
- Tumblr’s support requests are littered with complaints about tumblr features that don’t work: these features actually don’t exist in Tumblr and are enabled by Missing e, or work correctly when Missing e is not installed. If Tumblr tells a user who appreciates the extension that it’s the cause of their worry, even though Tumblr has done nothing wrong, the bad guy here is Tumblr.
- A new feature is released for tumblr and based on the way Missing e is coded (shoddily and full of hacks, because it has to be—no slight to Cutler) this functionality is disabled and inaccessible to users of Missing e.
- Jeremy Cutler decides that in order to ensure he maintains funding for future versions of Missing e, placing Ads in the tumblr dashboard is necessary. Tumblr makes no money off these ads.
Many of the features Missing e “fixes” are simply not bugs. They could be called alterations or changes, but if, for instance, Tumblr wanted the ask box to allow someone to see the entirety of a 30 line response to a question, they’d simply make the change: as a web developer, I can tell you this is one line of CSS. Tumblr simply is managing their site’s user experience in a certain way. You don’t have to like the way they’re doing it, but it’s done that way intentionally. You don’t like it? Tough shit.
But Missing e is only one problem Tumblr feels it needs to fix. Tumblr is slightly a victim of its own success. It’s the 24th most popular website in the United States, with about the same number of hits as Flickr (25) and Netflix (21). If I had to guess—and of course, I know no employees of Tumblr nor do I have any inside knowledge—Tumblr got pretty tired of the jokes made at its expense and got serious about what it needed to to do scale properly.
Recently a lot of users have complained loudly (for someone who uses the service as it’s intended, and posts every few days or so, for me to have heard means it’s a big deal) about the posting limits, some of which have been in affect since 2008. Recently, I believe tumblr imposed some limits on reblogs and asks, but the limits keep the use of tumblr blogs in line with what is reasonable for a blog. Though you might have wanted to post 200 photos of your vacation in individual posts, or ask every single person you follow how their day was (likely while texting them), that’s what services like Flickr and Instagram, Formspring and Skype, Google Talk or Facebook are for. To actually use Tumblr for the things it’s for, no one’s being limited or hindered at all. These changes are almost surely contributing to the sites’ improved uptime.
This is why freedom and customization can sometimes be crippling to a service like Tumblr which is growing very quickly: if users never had the ability to respond to 10+ asks an hour, the usage of the ask feature over the history of Tumblr would have been totally different. More importantly, though, is that Tumblr only has one obligation, and unfortunately, it’s not to the users.
How does a service display 0 ads, sell 0 user data, and exist at all? Its investors. The VC firms pouring money into Tumblr see an opportunity to make money, either from monetizing its users, or selling Tumblr to a company who will. The creators of tumblr need to show growth in order to continue to receive funding. Post limits are of no concern to a working husband, wife, parent, etc. who needs a job to provide for their family: making users happy is important, but making investors happy is more important, and if these changes anger 1% of heavy tumblr users simply to ensure their company is in the best place to succeed and that their product is closer to being profitable or purchased by a larger firm, Tumblr is obligated to make them.
There’s one final point necessary to make here: Tumblr is 100% free and as far as I can tell takes very good care of its users’ privacy and data. That users feel so entitled as to say that post limits are being imposed on their accounts makes them sound persecuted and, to be honest, petty. The goal of these actions is to create a better and more consistent experience for all users: one in which Tumblr is free to expand and grow the way it needs to in order to best suit its business and the vision for the platform.
I came across this shopping through the Karp tag. I have to say. It makes a pretty good point.
Also, some of the personal slander people are saying about David Karp is really mean. So we attack people for leaving anon hate in people’s asks but it’s okay for us to relentlessly personally attack Karp? I admit I’ve bitched about the things Tumblr’s done but I’ve never attacked Karp personally. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I just would like to see certain things taken care of.