Showing 170 posts tagged tumblr

Besides Yahoo, 9 Tumblr Changes in 2013 Advertising on mobile and desktop dashboards New Activity tracks notes, biggest fans and followers Posting revamped on the desktop Dashboard Desktop dashboard flattens; reblog/like buttons descend Photo posts: Webcam GIFs, selfies and panoramas Tumblr enabled reblogs for ask posts New search — for posts and Tumblr blogs Mobile: Push notifications; Trending Topics and Blogs Revised Tumblr themes site with search and collections


Besides Yahoo, Nine Tumblr Changes in 2013:

  1. More advertising: 2013 saw mobile sponsored posts, desktop sponsored posts (both in the works before Yahoo acquired Tumblr), sponsored blogs and search ads. But no more pinned or highlighted posts.

  2. New Activity page started tracking notes, biggest fans and followers.

  3. Posting was revamped to use pop-over window forms and drag-and-drop photoset composition on the desktop.

  4. Dashboard design was flattened (à la iOS 7) and the reblog/like buttons descended to the bottom of posts on desktop Dashboard.

  5. Photo post add-ons: Take webcam GIFs and selfie pics from the photo post form, plus upload panorama photos.

  6. Reblogs enabled for ask posts.

  7. New search revealed posts and blogs by keywords — and added a much needed list view for results. There’s more to do with search. And the old tag search still requires tweaking URLs.

  8. Mobile updates: push notifications and Trending Topics and Trending Blogs.

  9. Tumblr’s themes site was revised to include theme search and 20 new collections.

For more, see my blog posts and reblogs tagged #tumblr change.

Just keeping track.

Medium becomes more Tumblrish

Hamish McKenzie noted that Medium had become significantly more of a curated experience  in its recent facelift. But I think in his positioning of Medium and Flipboard as two competitors for our attention, he misses something important. He wrote, 

Medium rearranged the furniture yesterday and in doing so changed the way we should look at the whole house.

It’s not just that founder and CEO Evan Williams has finally declared Medium to be a “platform not a publication” – an important distinction that was revealed in a correction note on a Fast Company article. And it’s not just the fancy new clothes that “Medium 1.0” comes dressed in, which include full-bleed cover photos and new layout options. It’s also that Medium now has more emphasis on user-curated “Collections,” such as one called “Human Parts.”

That shift puts Medium squarely in competition with Flipboard, a smartphone and tablet-focused reading app, which in March gave its users the ability to curate their own collections, which it calls “magazines.”

Medium’s further additions of a “Top 100” leaderboard and a “Reading List” feed of suggested stories hammer home the message that “This is a place you come to read, and, please, stay a while.”

But Flipboard is often used as simply as a reading tool for feeds: like the way I access my Twitter stream, or updates from Wired. In that way Flipboard is more like the successor to Google Reader.

No, the product to compare to Medium is Tumblr, where the curated topics pages collated the most interesting and compelling content, as judged by a battery of editors, and each with its own ‘top contributors’. (See me down there at the right?)


I find it interesting that Tumblr seems to be changing so slowly — hardly at all — since being acquired by Yahoo. And one of the obvious ways to draw more interest to Tumblr would be the simple avenue of making the curated topics a/ public and b/ better looking. Right now they look like the (relatively unappealing) Tumblr dashboard, and there is little or no room for advertisements. 

But I have made several of the curated topic feeds — like Tech and Design — a part of my central daily practice. I have not done that with Medium, although I do use Flipboard every day, too.

Pleased to say that I’ve been added to Zemanta’s Tech Circle, in a short list with folks like Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Hunter Walk, Albert Wegner, and Howard Lindzon.
For no particular reason, I am reminded of the Groucho Marks line, 

I would never join a club that would have me as a member.

(Just kidding!!)

Pleased to say that I’ve been added to Zemanta’s Tech Circle, in a short list with folks like Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Hunter Walk, Albert Wegner, and Howard Lindzon.

For no particular reason, I am reminded of the Groucho Marks line, 

I would never join a club that would have me as a member.

(Just kidding!!)

Recalibrating my Tumblrs

I’ve decided to go back to writing about some of my interests at underpaidgenius.com, again, like politics and the arts. And stoweboyd.com is becoming a commonplace book for my futures interests: tech, cognition, design, organizational culture, futures in general, like the future of work, and economics. I tried to collapse those two sides of my interests into one place for a while, here at stoweboyd.com, but I think it doesn’t work as well that way for others, or for me, either.

Customize Upload image on


“Customize” is back on the Tumblr Dashboard:
The “Customize” sidebar link has returned to the Dashboard! Tumblr had relocated “Customize Theme” from the Dashboard to preferences in September 2012. You’ll still find a customize button in your blog preferences, but this change makes “Customize” easier to reach from the Dashboard.

Tumblr upgraded the Customize panel on Oct. 21, 2013 and recently fixed the “add a page” form to allow image uploads again. (Learn more about adding pages to your blog from the Customize panel.)


'The First Time a Tumblr Has Been Used in an Argument in a Supreme Court Brief' - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic



On October 8, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. The case centers on whether aggregate limits on donations to campaigns are constitutional, an extension of the legal logic behind the infamous Citizens United decision.

Before the Court hears arguments, though, the justices will have already consulted something unique: A legal document predicated on a Tumblr. According to Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard Law professor filing the brief, it’s the first time a Tumblr has been used in a Supreme Court filing.

On his own Tumblr this morning, Lessig (who’s also a contributor to The Atlantic) explained the reasoning:

The basic argument of the brief is that the Framers of the Constitution used the word “corruption” in a different, more inclusive way, than we do today. The Tumblr captures 325 such uses collected from the framing context, and tags to help demonstrate this more inclusive meaning. 

The upshot of the collection is that the Framers meant more by “corruption” than simple “quid pro quo” (this for that) corruption. In particular, their main focus (or most common usage) was institutional corruption. And one prominent example of the institutional corruption they were concerned about was an institution developing an improper dependence. Like — to pick just one totally random example — a Congress developing a dependence upon its funders, rather than the dependence the framers intended — “on the People alone.”

The Tumblr is already online (at ocorruption.tumblr.com), and its sidebar promises to “[collect] every use of the term ‘corruption’ among the records of the Framers.” Every entry consists of the name of one of the founders, a date, a block quote with all usages of corruption in bold, and a source. On July 25, 1788, for instance, James Iredell pronounced to North Carolina’s Constitutional Convention that the King of England:

has the disposal of almost all offices in the kingdom, commands the army and navy, is head of the church, and has the means of corrupting a large proportion of the representatives of the people, who form the third branch of the legislature.

The emphasis there is Lessig’s. The reader can decide what kind of corruption is intended: the tit for tat type, or the deeper dependence Lessig alleges.

It’s fitting that a brief should rest upon a Tumblr, because many of the social network’s mechanisms are quasi-scholarly. The service limits users to certain post types, and one of these is a “Quote” post. By design the quote post encourages the user to annotate someone else’s words. (Manyscholars use Tumblr just to highlight and preserve interesting passages of their own reading.) It’s this “quote” feature that Lessig’s “ocorruption” Tumblr uses.

Tumblr also encourages reblogging among its users: Users can take others’s words, roll them into a blockquote, and add their own thoughts at the end. Tumblr’s whole design ethos and structure may be a kind of intentional synecdoche for how discourse — scholarly, legal, hypertextual — works.

By sheer accretion, a blog can catalog a style, unfold a worldview, or make a point.

By sheer accretion, indeed.

This is also interesting in juxtaposition with the recent news that 49% of the URLs in US Supreme Court opinions are broken, suffering linkrot. A new effort, perma.cc, has been developed by a consortium of law libraries to solve the same problem in general:

Adam Liptak, In Supreme Court Opinions, Web Links to Nowhere

Professor [Jonathan] Zittrain {of Harvard Law School] and his colleagues are at work on a more ambitious solution, Perma.cc, a platform built and run by a consortium of law libraries. It allows writers and editors to capture and fix transient information on the Web with a new, permanent link.


The project is initially focused on legal scholarship. And there is no reason, Professor Zittrain said, why it could not also work for the Supreme Court.

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