The Rise and Fall of TUMBLR and What the ARTISTS Did Wrong | For Future Reference Vlog

The Rise and Fall of TUMBLR and What the ARTISTS Did Wrong | For Future Reference Vlog

Hey it’s Eli aka Atlas. And if you’ve been using the internet since
the beginning of December 2018, you’ve heard all about Tumblr and the big (but not good)
idea that recently hit them (maybe too hard). Of course, they’re perfectly entitled to do
what they please with their site in terms of rules and regulations and the management
of content, but man, you gotta think of what your users want every now and then. And on the same note–as users–you’ve always
gotta be mindful of the platform you’re using, especially if you’re using it to monetize
or gain exposure. So in today’s video I’m going to give my thoughts
about what Tumblr did wrong–and where a very specific portion of ITS users messed up. 1) TUMBLR’S FAULT. Tumblr was launched in 2007 as a microblogging
site; within two weeks of its launch, the site had a little over 75000 users. It attracted–and continues to attract–a
variety of bloggers and curators who create a variety of content ranging from visual art
and culinary techniques, to all things pop culture and sub culture. Now over the years, Tumblr HAS generated some
controversy for their lack of regulation and control over content, and have faced backlash
from its user base and critics alike on things like Copyright, user security, politics and
cenorship. Nothing out of the ordinary, if we’re being
honest. One element of particular note is its adult
content–also known as PORN. According to stats and polls by a bunch of
companies, at least 25% percent of all the content on tumblr is classified as pornographic. And if it only takes four 25s to make a hundred,
and you’re hosting over 100 million blogs, then thats 25 million pornhubs all under one
roof. That’s a lot of T&A. That said, the porn base has been the most
dedicated and consistent and probably generates the most amount of revenue from Tumblr. So you would think Tumblr would do their best
to cater to their most active demographic. Instead, they thought it best to prioritize
their sponsors, and protect their legal and financial positions going forward, which–while
totally logical–meant regulating the life out of said active, dedicated and consistent
demographic. Basically putting the X on 25 million of their
own users. Word on the street is this is probably going
to be the death of Tumblr. If anyone knows anything about the Internet,
it’s that it loves its porn–so the streets might be right. Not only did they get rid of its porn-creating
users, Tumblr, as a result, got rid of all the traffic it would’ve generated because
of those users. That’s gotta affect your Alexa ranking. So the actual bigger problem with that is,
in their quest to purge their platform, there’s been a lot of collateral damage. Graphic and visual artists who make innocent,
non-pornographic art have been caught in the crosshairs and have been flagged to oblivion
for having NSFW content. And its affecting their exposure AND money
in a big way. Now they too are going elsewhere. For the purposes of this example, lets say
that’s the second 25%. And now you’ve lost 50% percent of your user
base in 2 weeks. Yikes. In their rush to curtail what they deemed
to be undesirable content, they might have cast their net a little too wide. And that’s where Tumblr went wrong. 2) THE PEOPLE’S FAULT. For this part, I’m not going to be addressing
the porn creators of Tumblr–definitely not my place to do that–but rather the unfairly
targetted artistic demographic. And I’ll preface this by saying: if you started
on Tumblr before ANY other website, and this is where your popularity and finance originated
from, then this doesn’t apply to you. I’ll also preface this by offering a quote:
“Go Where You’re Celebrated, Not Tolerated.” If you’re an artist who draws or animates
or does any kind of visual work, the places where you prioritize and monetize should be
authentically geared towards what you do specifically. If you’re a concept or video game artist,
your headquarters should be around the real of Society6, Artstation and CGHub–not Tumblr. While its always great to have a place to
make a secondary income in the form of commissions, it’s best to remember: THIS SITE ISN’T FOR
YOU. Tumblr was a microblogging site; that meant
there was no cohesive way to keep in contact with artists and leave comments (aside from
their kinda lame messaging system). Apparently there was a great deal of people
making money off their art on Tumblr–I’m sure through links and referrals and even
on-site commissions. But, again, that wasn’t the idea of the site
at all when it came out in 2007. It was just another twitter/photo-sharing
site. And this was a big reminder that nothing changed. Your core audience should be where you can
always reach them, and where its most optimized for you to gain maximum exposure and generate
as maximum revenue that you can. It should give you the tools to be able to
do all those things, and in my opinion, Tumblr was never that. Which is why it surprises me to hear a lot
of artists now saying that they’re losing a huge chunk of income from the purge. While I congratulate you guys for being able
to make an impressive amount of money from that site, that shouldn’t have been your headquarters
in the first place. If generating income is your goal, there are
a plethora of sites and ways to do that that are geared towards art specifically or at
least more accomodating to that user base–Patreon, Gumroad, even deviantART are prime examples. That said I’ve done a whole video on sites
that have helped me generate income in the past and I’ll link it in the cards up there
somewhere. So in that way, I think if you’re an visual
artist losing a huge chunk of your income because Tumblr is attacking its pornographers… You might have had your priorities wrong to
start. That wraps it up. If you liked the video, ETC. Make sure you tune in next Friday for a new episode of For Future Reference and
this Monday for either a new tutorial or speed art. Social media, etc. Recommended reading, etc.

7 thoughts on “The Rise and Fall of TUMBLR and What the ARTISTS Did Wrong | For Future Reference Vlog

  1. Do you use Tumblr? Why or what for? And most importantly, what are your thoughts on the Tumblr ban? Let's get a discussion going!

  2. Excellent video. I've been watching quite videos on the downfall of Tumblr. The main reason why its bringing the hammer down on porn is because Apple took its app store off of its store(currently at the time of typing this, its back in now). Apples reason was because of a child porn picture, so Tumblr which is now owned by Verizon aka the anti net neutrality corporation has been scrambling to get rid of all porn. Using a very flawed algorithm program that is false flagging a lot pictures/art.

    Now on the erotic artists, not sure why some chose Tumblr as their headquarters for art. Social Media sites are only good getting name out there, but never solely depend on them only. It is always best to invest in having your OWN website and to an extension using DeviantART, Hentai Foundry, Pixiv, Furaffinity and/or Weasly to post erotic art. Money generating sites like you mentioned such as Patreon and Gumroad are excellent. Sad to see Tumblr go, seen some great art on their and met some cool people.

  3. Atlas i love your content and i am always excited to see new videos from you. if i could offer some advice, you need to "open your mouth when you speak" if you understand what i mean. i suffer from the same problem and it sounds like your speaking clearly (to yourself) but most people ask me to repeat. relax your jaw muscles and speak. i think you will find it helps with speaking. but like i said love your stuff love your work and please continue uploading.

  4. "If he dies, he dies."

    In my opinion, this was going to happen eventually with growing censorship on the internet, and regulations and laws expanding their influence. Tumblr, for the little time I was actively on there, was not shy about making it clear they promoted and encouraged adult content. I even distinctly remembering their TOS regarding nudity/sex as "go ahead and post a picture of a penis if that's your thing!". Those weren't the exact words verbatim (remember this was years ago, so I'm paraphrasing), but they made it clear than porn to them was no big deal (and there was definitely a joke about a phallus). This type of mentality, combined with growing internet censorship, simply put a large enough target on Tumblr's back that it could no longer evade or escape from.

    Honestly, I think the changes it made are being made begrudgingly and not of their own free will to 'do the right thing', because it was perfectly content to do it's own thing prior to the crackdown and likely never would have changed if given the option not to. They basically just gambled and rode the thin line until they got caught by people and forces with more pull than them. It's as simple as that. People who thought it would never go down were basically just counting on mutual assurance, rather than a guarantee of anything. When a community feels comfortable, they don't consider the bubble they live in, and how some outside force can and will influence it, either over time or all at once.

    Personally, I stopped using it because of the stupid porn bots that were constantly following me, the weak/non-existent comment feature, and the fact the animated gifs would slow my browser down if I tried to browse the site. Gifs were everywhere. lol

  5. You can tell how successful a platform is by how much porn infiltrates it. Mostly it's the popular games that get the cracks that turn female villains into naked villains. The Sims, Second Life, WoW, etc., all enjoy naked/porn hacks and that's just the way things are. Regulators will always have something to fight against which means this will be an ongoing war until we become extinct.

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