Monthly Archives: January 2011

Misinformed

A few days ago I read about the uprising in Egypt on Tumblr.

Bits and pieces of information littered my dashboard and I became engrossed. Social media helped organize a revolution, so any former thoughts of Twitter as a useless dumping ground for opinions disappeared.

When I discovered the Internet was shut down in Egypt, it was difficult to absorb. The place where anyone can have a platform to speak was cut off in an attempt to silence the protests. This is the first time in my lifetime–that I know of–where such blatant and widespread censorship occurred. (This is not counting censorship in areas where people never had the right or freedom to express themselves in the first place.)

While the power of social media has gained respect due to these events, much is being done to harm its reputation as well.

Information is disseminated so rapidly that fact-checking and context can be lost. As I’ve said before, the Internet can be full of lies, and we should remember that especially when everyone is clamoring to read the latest breaking news.

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A Tumblr crush

Tumblr crushes

Tumblr is better than Twitter.

There, I’ve said it. I’m sure that Kanye would like to tweet me off my blogging platform right now, but hear me out.

Since Twitter is all about the brief written message, it’s great for mobile. But that strength is also a weakness. Where are the visuals? The videos? Oh yeah, in a link.

Click-throughs aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but if I can avoid adding to the seemingly endless list of open tabs in my browser, I will.

Tumblr, on the other hand, incorporates the visual and interactive components into its design. Embedding: It’s a thing! Who knew?

The formatting of Twitter means scrolling through the day’s messages and seeing an endless list of text and avatars. On Tumblr I can scroll through and stop to examine a picture that catches my eye. It’s like comparing the dos and don’ts of newspaper design.

And speaking of newspapers, I was surprised to find that I prefer Tumblr as a general news source.

Front Pages is a great way to keep up on the news worthy of A-1 from several major papers. The best part is that–as the name implies–the front page of each paper is scanned in. You get the best of both worlds: the feeling of print design with the convenience of hyperlinks.

As my Tumblr Crushes list shows, I am also a fan of the NPR, NPR Fresh Air and Today Show Tumblrs. They feature news that I’m interested in. And if it’s not something I’m interested in, the witty commentary is worthy of my attention. Unlike Twitter, there is always plenty of room to add a snarky quip.

As much as I love Tumblr, I do think that it can take a page from Twitter’s book in one area: lists.

Scrolling through all the content can seem impossible sometimes. It can be avoided by going to the individual pages of those that you are most interested in, but I don’t want to leave my homepage and click more than I have to.

I would love to separate the news Tumblogs from the personal updates, but right now I don’t see a way to do that. I’m going to write to them and see if they fix it.

Oh, and if you’re interested, here is my little Tumblr named Gray Space.

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