The Reblog Button
Tom Watson, founder and editor of newcritics, asked all the bloggers who contribute to newcritics to post about the one media moment that most moved them in the past year. It’s newcritics’ one year anniversary this week and there’s a celebration later this week. So I figured I’d better get my post in.
I thought a lot about it and decided that the reblog button in tumblr is the most important piece of media that I came across last year. Here’s why.
Hi Fred… I am a Tumblr convert. When it first came out I thought it was a novelty act and I still think Twitter may be although I’m open minded enough to hold on and see. I thought that Blogging wanderers like myself would test it out and abandon it. Newbies would use it for a while until they were ready to graduate but as I played with it more and more the the simplistic genius started to resonate with me. I personally abandoned blogs like Bijan mentioned Eric Marcoullier has because they became jumbled and complicated and hard to manage and hard to read. I would then have an overpowering need to “start over” and try to get it right, something my wife has dubbed, “Clean Slate Syndrome”.I have had my problems with Tumblr and so has others I have read on the web. I have at times been critical and I still don’t understand why their corporate blog is hosted on WordPress and am awaiting a fix to their date stamp bug but I am also hopeful and excited about a home on Tumblr once they do (my understanding from Marc is that I’ve got another week or so before this gets wrapped up). Tumblr wants over a million users by the end of the year and the platform is worthy of it but I continue to be skeptical if they can truly support it; thus far I’d have to deem them the worst and slowest support in this space but again, I am very hopeful for Tumblr, am rooting for them and banking my web “home” on them.In RE to the Reblog button/capability: yes, it is nifty but I don’t see it as being revolutionary. When I look at Google Reader’s “share” function I think they do it better and more broadly. Vox has this functionality as well as others. Reblogging to me is a form of social sharing that has existed for a long time. Delicious and Digg are in the same ballpark, as are many others. I really liked your white board diagram that you posted a few weeks back that plotted blogging and social network platforms. I think Tumblr is the #3 social blogging platform out there (behind Vox and Live Journal) but this could improve over time as users continue to come to Tumblr. I do feel a more kindred connection with most of the Tumblr users than I do elsewhere.My bottom line: Not sure how important the “Reblog” capability is but based on your article on NewsCritics I will explore it more deeply. Although my Tumblr experience has been a tad bit frustrating I can see where this thing is going and I am very enthused about it. I really appreciate you introducing me to Tumblr!
There seems to be alot of “reblogging”… I run into so many blogs that are just search/aggregator combos. The basic structure: “This is cool…Look here…include link”. Some are better than others, adding one more step to the structure: “This is cool….THIS IS WHY I THINK SO…..Look here….include link”. They are the merchants, not the producers and I guess the same economics would apply. The merchant can adjust his inventory as the market changes and the producer can as well.I have this this gut feeling that the producer is more valid but I am the first to admit the merchant plays a very important roll. One of the most important functions I see for the semantic web is it’s ability to act as a “pertinent” search/aggregator, replacing the reblogger and refining the process. Once software can accomplish this task efficiently I no longer need the merchant, the economics change and I am better served.The downside to this will be the problem of narrowing, reducing discovery by lowering happenstance. Hmmmmm…now that would be a good project !