I’m grumpy about Tumblr sites.
There, I said it.
Not all of them. The best Tumblrs are awesome, sharing tons of well-selected images with as much link credit and attribution info as the poster has available. Often that’s light to non-existent — who doesn’t have a hard drive full of unattributed pictures? — but you can tell, on these Tumblrs, that when the source is known, it gets a link or a mention.
But the worst? The worst are dreadful — reflexively reblogging from other Tumblr sites, never linking to anything from outside the Tumblr ecosystem, and never never never including anything that looks like metadata. Link credit? If it isn’t another Tumblr site, fuggetaboutit. Even when there’s a watermark on the photo, these Tumblrs can’t be arsed to link the source. It doesn’t get any lazier than that.
When I find one of these that’s been put together by somebody with an eye for nice pictures, it’s especially frustrating. All those awesome images, but nothing at all to help somebody track down more of the same, nothing at all in the way of traffic or “props” to encourage the creator to make more just like that, not even some encouragement for whomever scanned the thing and put it on the internet. I’ve got a huge tolerance for “I love this pic but I don’t know a thing about it” — I have to, given the number of these I post myself — but when you’re posting hundreds of pics a month and pretending you don’t know anything about any of them, where they came from, or who made them? The impression comes across, eventually, that you just don’t give a fuck about giving credit where credit is due. And that spoils my enjoyment of a good thing.
OK, rant over. And before y’all say it, I know this isn’t unique to Tumblr sites. It just seems like something about the slick low-friction Tumblr setup attracts or facilitates attributionless image blogging. I’ve seen plenty of blogs in other formats with the same issues; but I never saw so much of it, so attractively presented, until Tumblr came along.
But still, I can’t stay away. Here’s your payoff for reading my rant: a few tasty pictures found on Tumblr sites, provenance sadly unknown despite endless reblogging within the Tumblr network.