Is Tumblr Killing Photo Blogs?
I've been meaning to post this for a while but I never got around to it. Then last night fellow Bay Area photog Timothy Archibald announced that he's planning on dumping blogger and moving to Tumblr.
It's my personal opinion that Tumbr is ruining the photographer blog. More and more a lot of the photographers who's blogs I follow have been moving to Tumblr. And pretty much across the board they went from an interesting informative blog to nothing more than a stream of photos. Worse than that, a stream of Instagram photos of nothing in particular. I love a good Instagram BTS shot as much as the next guy and I think it's great to show outtakes and other work that doesn't make the "main" website, but I don't really need to see the view from your airplane seat on your way to a shoot (that seams to be a favorite on Tumblr).
Of course, it's not Tumblr itself that is causing this… Tumblr is just a platform and you can do with it what you want. Unfortunately it just seems that photographers are using it in this way. My guess is it's because Tumblr makes is so damn easy to post a photo with no commentary and move on. But at that point, Tumblr basically a Flickr substitute… and not even a really good one.
Do you like a bit of discourse with your blog? Well, unless the Tumblr blogger does some customization to their theme with something like Disqus (which most don't seem to do) forget about an interesting comments section. What you get instead is a list of "hearts" and "reblogs". I couldn't imagine a site like A Photo Editor on Tumblr without a comment section, where a lot of the interesting content lies.
I of course am no better than any other photographer with a Tumblr blog. I do the very same thing with my Tumblr; replete with Instagram photos that I'm sure nobody cares about. But I've always considered my Tumblr blog to be a companion to this blog, not a replacement.*
So go ahead photogs, start your Tumblr blog. But don't give up on real blogging. Either keep your real blog or use Tumblr the same way you used your original blog. Don't just post snapshots of your day or outtakes that weren't chosen for a reason.
*This is in no way implying anything interesting can be found on this blog.