Tumblings, Have No Fear

Just don’t fuck­ing ask, okay?

I’ve been play­ing around with iOS apps late­ly, which unfor­tu­nate­ly means con­stant­ly refresh­ing the gor­geous but god­for­sak­en Apple App Store app-wide. Yes­ter­day evening, I hap­pened to tap by the Social category’s top charts and spy a sort of appli­ca­tion I didn’t know exist­ed: a third-par­ty client for the Tum­blr dash­board called “TBR for Tum­blr.” Not only did it exist — it was (and is cur­rent­ly) the #1 Paid Social App on iOS. I found this a bit odd because I remem­bered specif­i­cal­ly going out of my way to write up a very pos­i­tive review on their native app over the sum­mer. After hav­ing gone months with­out even set­ting eyes on its icon, I’d opened it and plod­ded around enough to see that its UI’s ani­ma­tions and image dis­play was far far bet­ter than it’d been the last time I opened the app. I nev­er actu­al­ly write app reviews for the store, but I legit­i­mate­ly thought we might bring back and con­vert some loy­al users (and I do gen­uine­ly believe that good design needs to be ver­bal­ly, intel­lec­tu­al­ly, emo­tion­al­ly and finan­cial­ly more com­pen­sat­ed, of course.)

I’m assum­ing that none of these events have any actu­al cor­re­la­tion at all, but I’m sure you’ve heard that Apple pulled the Tum­blr app from the App Store some­time before Fri­day night and has yet to restore it. Last night, they explained that they’d found child pornog­ra­phy some­where on the plat­form, for which it’s very hard to decide whom is to blame. A first pos­i­tive I have to offer you: right now, lets appre­ci­ate that more of this con­tent does not make it past our com­plex safe­guards and on to the open web. Let us also take a moment to explain to any unfa­mil­iar (or per­haps extreme­ly elder­ly) read­ers that it was not the com­pa­ny who made the ser­vice and soft­ware called Tum­blr that was “serv­ing child pornog­ra­phy,” but rather an assort­ment of their indi­vid­ual users.

Every image uploaded to Tum­blr is scanned against an indus­try data­base of known child sex­u­al abuse mate­r­i­al, and images that are detect­ed nev­er reach the plat­form. A rou­tine audit dis­cov­ered con­tent on our plat­form that had not yet been includ­ed in the indus­try data­base. We imme­di­ate­ly removed this con­tent.” -Tumblr’s live tick­et for the Novem­ber 16th issue.

It’s com­plete­ly under­stand­able that Tum­blr users are dis­ap­point­ed, fright­ened, and/or angry, but I’d like to briefly touch on just a few rea­sons why none of these events need be the end of Tum­blr. if any­thing, there’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty here for a seri­ous rework of its fun­da­men­tal struc­ture.

  1. There is a third-par­ty soft­ware devel­op­ment scene for Tum­blr, which could like­ly be redesigned or slight­ly tweaked to cir­cum­vent any fur­ther law and/or pol­i­cy-vio­lat­ing con­tent — gourd for­bid — and just inter­act with the stuff you want.
  2. Tum­blr was built on The Open Web first and it will still be there when it ticks on its last 60 sec­onds of uptime (which doesn’t have to come any­time soon.) This means that you will always be able to access Tum­blr with a web brows­er. If an account of yours hap­pened to be mis­banned with the rest, you can appar­ent­ly request that it be looked back over and rein­stat­ed.
  3. God may have for­sak­en us, but we can have faith in Open Source: a fed­er­at­ed Tum­blr alter­na­tive is almost cer­tain­ly man­i­fest­ing right now in the mind of a genius web devel­op­er which will no doubt be way faster, more secure, bet­ter look­ing, and ETHICAL AS FUCK.

If fuck­ing Look­book is still around, I can’t imag­ine Tum­blr will ever actu­al­ly have a tru­ly swift death forced upon it, for bet­ter or worse. The key of course is that we all have to stop pan­ick­ing and attempt­ing to archive our entire Tum­blr his­to­ries — yes, it will die with­out any users.

WordPress, MovableType

Kara Swish­er inter­viewed Matt Mul­len­weg on Recode Decode! It’s extreme­ly sad how excit­ed I was to see this in my pod­cast feed (and that I’m already writ­ing about it before the post has actu­al­ly gone up on Recode, itself.)

We Called it Guten­berg for a Rea­son

They dis­cussed Mov­able­Type briefly, which was revived in 2013 and now has a 50% Japan­ese lan­guage user­ship, and I’d real­ly like to know how that hap­pened.

Also, I had no idea his and Word­Press’ com­pa­ny, Automat­tic owned Lon­greads and Atavist. Hilar­i­ous­ly, I also found out his old blog themes are now avail­able in the Word­Press theme direc­to­ry. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, I had to wait a whole darned week for a “light­ly-edit­ed tran­script” [local back­up] of this episode, but frankly, I’m just glad they decid­ed it was worth tran­scrib­ing at all, con­sid­er­ing Word­Press’ out-of-the-excitable-for-dab­blers sta­tus. I mean… it was prob­a­bly a bit cru­el to place Mullenweg’s episode in direct fol­lowup to Kara Swisher’s inter­view with Mark Zucker­berg the pre­vi­ous week, which — for obvi­ous and entire­ly-jus­ti­fied rea­sons — will sure­ly be the most-lis­tened-to Recode Decode episode by far in its recent his­to­ry, at least. 

I’ve been doing Word­Press for 15 years and I’d like to do it the rest of my life.”

Yiokes! Ya know? You’re damned right, “oof.”

I think every tech com­pa­ny should have an edi­to­r­i­al team.”

Out of sign­f­i­cant and near­ly-unbear­ably heavy bias, I must agree whole­heart­ed­ly with this state­ment — and Mullenweg’s req­ui­site elab­o­ra­tion — and I must leave you with the expres­sion of one final wish: that Zucker­berg had been inter­viewed post-Matt, instead, and Kara Swish­er would’ve brought this up with him.

Get Scooped, Vox Scrubs

The lat­est on the I told you soI said that first! beat: The Verge’s Patri­cia Her­nan­dez wrote a fea­ture about Twitch stream­ers with­out an audi­ence

Hop­stad, who has spent years stream­ing most­ly to no one, says he is a social­ist who cares about the min­i­mum wage, and Twitch gives him an out­let to talk about his beliefs that he doesn’t have in real life. “I’m not a social per­son so I don’t seek out oppor­tu­ni­ties to talk about things, like on mes­sage boards, espe­cial­ly stuff like pol­i­tics, I’m com­fort­able going through a day with­out talk­ing or inter­act­ing with any­one,” Hop­stad said. “Twitch cer­tain­ly helped me attempt to break through my her­mit nature, but I think I’m becom­ing more com­fort­able with just being alone for the rest of my life.”

How charm­ing.

I’ve been mar­veling at just how white­washed Port­land is since I first got here last Fall, but I now (unfor­tu­nate­ly) have real, tan­gi­ble, New York Times-pub­lished val­i­da­tion of this per­cep­tion. As co-host of Still Pro­cess­ing, Jen­na Wortham recount­ed her expe­ri­ence com­ing to the Tin House Sum­mer Work­shop.

There are more ‘Black Lives Mat­ter’ signs in people’s yards, win­dows, and store­fronts than I saw vis­i­ble black lives!”


Nuanced Media Exhaustion

Have you ever won­dered what it would be like to live two years spend­ing all — and I lit­er­al­ly mean all — of your free time screw­ing around on the web? Well, I guess I should real­ly do an AMA on the Read It web­site because that’s me! I real­ized last night how ridicu­lous it was to allow this blog to be indexed by search engines, so I added a moth­er­fuckin bypass request to the god­damned robots.txt! That makes you super “sus” for read­ing this, but I guess you get this exclu­sivebehind-the-scenes pre-release of the front cov­er on Extra­tone Magazine’s first issue. Though I am now a Cer­ti­fied Gimp Poweruser and I spent a long time on this, it’s pret­ty fuckin bad. I do think we should do our best to com­pile a print release of all the best stuff from the past two years some time in the near future, and I’m now pret­ty sure that I should get some­body else to do the cov­er…

I’ve decid­ed that Vice’s Moth­er­board and Way­point are tied for Extra­tone’s #1 com­peti­tor and they’re uhhh… def­i­nite­ly win­ning — Laugh, Out Loud — yet I don’t envy them at all, if I’m com­plete­ly hon­est: video games are cool and long­form game reviews are incred­i­ble, but they’ve nev­er had an audi­ence, real­ly, so the two jus­ti­fy their respec­tive exis­tences as Vice prop­er­ties by their quaint, inter­net cul­ture-inspired overuse of the terms “boys” and “sons.” Regard­less, my bum-fuck­ing led to an inter­view that def­i­nite­ly fuck­ing belongs on Drycast with Angela Nagle — author of Kill All Normies.

Yeah… Holy shit. What a supreme­ly rel­e­vant con­ver­sa­tion to just stum­ble upon, fuckin’ around on Apple Pod­casts (no lie.) I am actu­al­ly oblig­at­ed to read and review this book — it’s like a text­book for the niche online cul­ture we had to watch turn a lot of our proxy com­mu­ni­ties culture2WWDC 1999o shit in high school. The last time I heard/used the term “normie,” it in no way belonged to Read It or 4 Chan­nel nazis… just ani­me Twit­ter NEETs. (Yes, I know they over­lap, but jeez.)

I can reli­ably vouch for pink hair as a 100% accu­rate mark­er for a cul­tur­al marx­ist. Any­way, I’d now like to wel­come you to the 1999 World Wide Developer’s Con­fer­ence. Look at those type­faces! Why can’t we go back to that?