Inquiry Project: Week 1

I spend quite a lot of time online. And I mean a lot, in many and varied places. I Pinterest. I Reddit. I Facebook, Tweet, and Instagram. But above all else, I use Tumblr.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 9.56.18 PM

You’ll get a screenshot of the login page and nothing more. No, you can’t have my URL.*

I run eight blogs of various activity levels: a cooking blog with a focus on helping people who’ve never cooked before, a blog by and for autistic people, a blog dedicated to a Game of Thrones couple that died well before the series even began, a blog devoted to a fan movement that rose up between seasons 2 and 3 of the BBC’s Sherlock, a tea blog, a “femme” blog, a blog for my fanfiction, and my personal blog.

The final two receive the bulk of my attention. Those two alone have a combined almost 2000 followers. Much of that is thanks to my success as a Sherlock fanfiction writer.

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 10.04.56 PM

No, you most certainly may not have my pen name either.*

My interactions on Tumblr have opened me up to knowledge and experiences I never would have accessed otherwise. The fandoms I run with are diverse in age, gender, orientation, and education. I’ve engaged in deep film critique with a Shakespeare professor in Oregon, a housewife in Ohio, and two teenage girls in Rhode Island and Georgia.

Thanks to my visibility through Tumblr, I was invited as a guest to two conventions last year to serve on panels and run workshops. I don’t want to sound dramatic when I say these experiences were life-changing, but I don’t know if there’s another word for it. Through these conventions, I was introduced to other writers, publishers, and literary scholars with whom I had common interests. I was brought in as a writer on a fan-made video game that I’m still working on.

Justin talked some on Tumblr’s influence on young feminists, which I am also all about. Seeing fandoms evolve from their earlier days saturated with internalized misogyny to the current attitude of fervent defense of female characters and complex criticism of the patriarchal values that crop up in media is thrilling.

Of course, Tumblr is not all connections and literary analysis for me. I do plenty of internet fighting and time-wasting on it too. But how many people engage in a time-waster that also finds them professional connections? How many other time-wasters do that?

In the language of my people: your faves could never.

*Unless you message me privately. Then we’ll talk.

5 thoughts on “Inquiry Project: Week 1”

  1. Hey Morgan and Justin! I hope we can get to the point where we can tag our posts, then search for similar tags in other sections. I’d love to hear from other tumblr people too. If I see another student writing out tumblr I’ll tweet it out — and you guys do the same. I’ll check in with the other instructors too.
    The (wonderful) problem is that there’s so much being written in this space, it’s hard to find it all. : )

  2. Morgan — I want to hear more about your visibility on Tumblr! It sounds like you have quite a following — and this amazes and impresses me! You have learned how to market yourself — or your sites — enough so that you’ve been invited to conferences to speak. What conferences? I know what you mean by these kinds of experiences being life-changing — they often put you in contact with like-minded people, and that makes all the difference in the world.

    I followed your link to the fan-made video, which lead me to a tumblr that provided information about Improbable Studios : “an international team of over 200 artists, writers, composers, and programmers who collaborate online to create modern transformative media inspired by classic literature and popular culture. ” Are you a part of this group? ? ? You have to tell me more about your work on the Sherlock rpg game —

    You have so much here that you can work on in your Inquiry Project. Think about how you can produce something that could be publishable in a digital place. What audience would be interested in hearing about your experiences ? The experience of working in this open group of collaborators , for example, the idea of fan produced video game — your experience can motivate such an interesting project!

    I am on an airplane now and do not have headphones, so I can’t watch your video, but I plan to. Also — I know that Tumblr doesn’t “play well” with rampages / VCU, but if you want to aggregate any of your Tumblrs in this space (and you may not) — but let me know. (We have a few open participants using Tumblr). I think you have such a following already, and increasing traction / visits to your blog is important, and I can see that adding a Word Press blog to your already full plate may not be your best option. All of this depends on what you want to do, but I wanted to offer you that option.

    I think you are going to really rock this course Morgan! I can’t wait to see what kind of project you imagine!!

    1. The conferences were two different Sherlock Holmes fan events, on in Seattle and one in Atlanta. I’d never done anything like it before, and I was hopelessly outranked by some of my co-presenters. One of them was an actual professor of literary analysis! I held my own, though, and it was a great experience.

      I am a part of that group! There’s a couple brief shots of me in the development video. Another writer and I designed and are writing a case to be played out in-game. The beta just came out. It’s all very exciting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *