It would be kind of bratty to say that ‘great minds think alike’. But I’m amused that my decision earlier this month to expand The Stiletto Gumshoe site beyond its WordPress perch to also auto-post to Tumblr seemed to anticipate the news that broke yesterday: Automattic, the parent company of WordPress (along with AOL, Huffpost and other properties) is acquiring Tumblr from Verizon.
If some synergy can be engineered between the two, it ought to benefit bloggers and followers and foster increased exposure for WordPress sites. As explained in prior posts here, I fled Tumblr after a very short stint in late 2018 for the relative safety of the WordPress platform. But I sorely missed the energetic social media connections and easy re-posting Tumblr offered…and Tumblr’s sheer size, even if it’s smaller or a little different than it was in its ‘glory days’.
Verizon has a huge write-off to bookkeep here. No official figure’s been announced, but the business rumor mill reports figures as disparate as $3 Million to $200 Million, which may sound like a lot to you and me, but is a few dollars shy of the $1.1 Billion it went for in 2013.
Tumblr says its adult content ban will remain in place, which will infuriate many but is fine with me. Annoying as it may be for an occasional Renaissance painting, edgy fashion photo or vintage pulp magazine cover to get flagged by Tumblr’s algorithm watchdogs, it may just have to be the necessary trade-off to help weed out at least some of the intrusive pornbots and shudder-inducing sex-n-violence content that can rear up during innocent linking or idle surfing.
So, we’ll see what happens in the coming months, but from my point of view, some shared something between WordPress’ excellent site construction and activity tracking tools with Tumblr’s fun and expansive interaction seems pretty exciting.