I wrote a post about using Tumblr some time ago, and I thought I would check back in about how that’s going.
In one word, well! There are quite a few writers, journals and online literary magazines on Tumblr, posting interesting snippets of their work, along with book reviews, pictures of books (so many pictures of books) and thoughtful quotes.I also follow two tumblrs centred around women in history, and a few from people posting nice landscapes, hiking and camping, and art:
There is also quite an active contingent of the American ‘Alt lit’ community, whose work is hard to quantify, other than it uses multi-media aspects is often self-published, and tends to be quite droll and/or full of ennui. I think of Russian writers of the late nineteenth century, stripped back, more explicit, and with an affection for Gchat and consumables of all kinds. I’ve already talked about Gabby Gabby (another poem of hers here).
I’d like to have a bit more of a conversation with some of these writers, but the downside of Tumblr (as compared to, say, twitter) is that the arrangement really only allows for 1.one person posting 2. second person ‘liking’ this post, possibly reblogging it to express their appreciation. You can send messages or ‘ask’ the person something, but not everyone responds to questions, preferring it seems to let their posts speak for them.
I could see why it would be quite an investment of effort and time to get into Tumblr – unless you are posting purely your own work, like Chris J. Rice, some time is, and must be spent in searching out interesting things to share, unless you’d rather take a solely observational role.
For me, I find it an odd mixture of soothing and stressing; like being in an art gallery whose walls are constantly rotating content, and there are a few unspoken rules on how to respond to the – performance? Game? Institution? – which I am still picking up on. It is just another community/space on the internet, but a little more self-selective than most – so that whenever I go over there, I am placed, for better or worse, in an active, curatorial role. I’ll keep at it for now, and hope that it keeps drawing me towards other writers, other intriguing rooms in the gallery.