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.
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.
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.