As a 280 lb, 90’s hip-hop loving 33-year-old, I’m about as far from hipster as you can get. As a rule, I tend to avoid the trappings of Urban Outfitters set, with a special disdain for all things twee.
I don’t know where the hatred of twee comes from. I’m sure it started when Zooey Deschanel started singing indie songs and that chick from the Windows 7 commercials exclaimed, ‘Yaaaay, cloud!‘ like she had a mental disorder. Lest you think my twee rage [twage?] has a spice of misogyny, I would direct your attention to Demetri Martin’s existence or the later work of Michael Cera. Gentleman’s Quarterly has even offered a handy pyramid to help the confused classify the varying levels of tweeness.
Which brings us to Tumblr.
Clearly, I’ve hated Tumblr for a long time. Probably because most of the designs and content are busier than the front pages of Nylon magazine. Probably from the association not only with the twee crowd, but the young twee crowd [and I’m a grown-ass man, thank you]. I enjoy a good image macro or animated GIF as much as anyone, but I don’t feel the need to spread them around myself. Besides, I’ve worked really hard [all right, kind of hard] on building up PFG, I didn’t want to ‘dilute the brand,’ as it were. I’ve already got the blog, a Facebook and a Twitter, surely that’s more than enough.
But I got to thinking, and I started to appreciate the value in throwing up a single image, or a quote, or an audio file, or an overheard conversation. But I would never put them here, since I always consider posting here as a minimum commitment of 250 words. I would never want serious business like a 900 word piece on Sonic the Hedgehog getting disrespected by a cellphone picture of my poutine dinner the following evening. So stuff like that usually gets farmed out to Twitter or Facebook.
But if my long ago studies in journalism taught me anything it’s that you have to hook people immediately, and sometimes some bit.ly or t.co link isn’t enticing enough to encourage people to click at the things you want to share with them, be they of the personally frivolous or universally informative varieties. Doesn’t matter how compelling your lead-in is, a mangled web address at the end of the tweet isn’t exactly eye catching. And sure you can add these things to your Facebook profile, but I feel like Facebook gets harder and harder to effectively maneuver through every day. Most of us just seem to skim through the news feed, all of our ‘friends,’ just voices screaming into a hurricane of activity, never mind the ongoing privacy concerns and ‘filter bubble,’ problem.
The more I looked into Tumblr, the more I started to get that it’s a more, functional, multimedia rendition of Twitter. Microblogging with added, embeddable media content.
The young’uns are yawning as I conclude what they figured out three years ago.
I will always fly the WordPress flag high and mightily as the best blogging platform available, and I still agree that most of what’s on Tumblr is useless at best [though we’ll always love you, Hipster Ariel]. But there have been times where I thought about posting something here, like the things I mentioned earlier, and didn’t, because they seemed frivolous, or beneath the scope.
What if I could not only put these on a Tumblr, but use it to further the overall PFG experience? Say plug an event I’m going to attend on the Tumblr, then do a full write up on PFG in the next couple of days? What if I could preview in a song the theme of an upcoming episode of RadioPFG as I assemble it? WordPress doesn’t currently allow for embeddable audio files without a paid upgrade, Tumblr gives you one a day for free. What if I have a fragment of an idea, an image, a metaphor, some fragment from my journals? Maybe I want to get it out there but haven’t worked it into a finished piece yet? While Tumblr reserves the right to freely distribute content posted however they see fit, you retain ownership of it. It’s right there in the ToS.
This was the thought process when I finally pulled the trigger and formed Poetry for Gravediggers Express. PFGX will be a catch all for fragments, images and linkfarming. PFG will always be the mothership where I make the major moves, but I’m hoping PFGX can grow into a fun complimentary experience as well. It’s not going to be required reading more than the mothership, but there will be things on each that will not be found on the other. If it seems like a week’s gone by without a post here, there’s likely something for you to look at there.
So that’s the deal. Trust me, I’m ashamed of myself as much as you are, but you gotta build that brand, kids. And since the only thing I’m comfortable shamelessly promoting is me, I may as well use as many means as possible to do it.
I’m confident my adoption of this platform means it’ll be obsolete in the next year.