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The Slow Death of Tumblr (and Medium)

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

I started moving all my legacy blog posts from Tumblr last week. I took down my personal blog there entirely (all the posts can now be found on this blog) and A Lesser Photographer will be transferred this week.

I decided I wanted to own the experience from now on.

Tumblr made blogging easy; easier than anyone had before (or maybe since). It was also easy to leave Tumblr or make your Tumblr blog a part of your own website. Tumblr was also where the cool kids who hated Facebook starting hanging out years ago. It had it's own app, which made posting and reading easier than using a browser or RSS. Lots of big name publications adopted the platform as their blogging outlet.

Sound familiar? This is pretty much the sales pitch for Medium.

This week Tumblr was bought out by Verizon in their deal for Yahoo!. The ink wasn't dry on the deal when Tumblr posted an announcement that your Tumblr blog will now have ads. You can opt out - for now. 99% won't, because 99% don't care.

This is how it works. When you don't pay for the product, you are the product. Sometimes, even when you pay for the product, you can still be the product, but you may have better options available.

It's hard not to be the product.

Most creators don't care, which is maybe why most readers don't care about most creators. How long can you sustain a business where most of your users don't care?

I re-started this site out of respect for my writing, but also out of respect for my readers. I want to make sure they feel like they had a good experience under the header that features my name. I don't want them exposed to diaper ads when they came here to read about photography, writing or publishing. I have that control now.

Why did I ever give it up to begin with!?

Sometimes I wonder how these companies keep convincing us to build empires for them for free. Then I use Twitter for a while and forget. Maybe not so much anymore.