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Farewell Post

So, here we are! The final post. It has been a challenging, confusing, disappointing, yet rewarding, journey. Unfortunately, I my survey did not get any bites and I still do not know how my followers feel about my project, or my false identity.

There are a possible few reasons why my individual followers have failed to respond to my post and messages:

  1. They have had no reaction to my project and false identity
  2. They may not have seen my post / message
  3. They may have seen my post / message and not read it
  4. They may have seen my post / message, thought about it their response, and just decided against making the effort to respond

My feeling is that the fourth third and fourth options are the most likely, in the case of most of my followers. I would like to validate or discard this theory of mine and the only because it is too late in the game for any further field work, the only thing to do is google it! Oh the irony.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find any data on the percentage of Tumblr users who say they interact with followers on the site, but I did find that tumblr is most widely seen as a micro-blogging site that falls somewhere between Facebook and Twitter. If this is true, why does it seem like Facebook and Twitter are so much more conducive to chat interaction than Tumblr? Maybe it is because Tumblr is so visual. 

I can scroll through my Tumblr dash and by just quickly looking at images as the pass by my vision, I can tell what is going on with that user. Facebook and Twitter do not operate in the same way. I can’t just scroll through my news feed or browse my tweet deck and get a full picture of what is going on with my friends / followers; there is far more textual action on these two mediums than there is on tumblr. Tumblr is all about the image. 

Bill Shander, CEO of Beehive Media in Boston, has a Tumblr page dedicated to the power of image. He explains that when building a brand or translating data of any kind to an audience, images are more important than words. He says: 

“The world is getting more visual every day. See the meteoric rise of Instagram and Pinterest and the explosion of info-graphics as recent proof points. People want to see information, not simply read about it. This is, in part, due to the ever-expanding amount of information we are processing on a daily basis. We have trained ourselves to scan things quickly, seeking nuggets of interest upon which we will focus our limited time. If you are presenting complicated information that includes data, you must make it visual to transform your audience from slightly interested bystanders into active consumers of your content.”

So, perhaps Tumblr is the way of the future; more images and less text. When there is less text, however, the is inherently less dialogue with others. I suppose one could have a form of dialogue without text but in order to have any form of traditional dialogue, text is imperative. 

Shander also speaks to the passivity of internet users. Of course not all internet use is passive, but Tumblr does certainly seem conducive to passivity; its constant stream of images that are not contingent upon any action or dialogue. 

So, perhaps Tumblr passivity is the reason why I did not get any response to my survey post. Maybe I was not able to develop my brand well enough to have a following that would break a flow of passive behavior to answer some research questions. 

Nonetheless, this experience has taught me so much about Tumblr, subset branding, identifying online markets, and the difficulty of building a following under large time constraints. I hope that I am able to continue this project, in some form, in the future. 

Thank you all so much for your comments and support throughout this process. 

Body peace, out. 

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#1 POSTED BY Collette Sosnowy, 05/07 7:55 PM

This has been a highly successful project, Ryan. I'm glad that it was challenging and rewarding, and you have no reason to be disappointed. Getting responses from people is challenging in any project, and the internet creates both new opportunities and new challenges for research. From my perspective, the most valuable and interesting parts of the project were the decisions you made in designing the project and how you continued to shape it throughout. Finding where your blog was situated in the large theme of Fitblrs revealed a lot about what experiences and needs people bring to this medium. I wouldn't say people are passive on Tumblr. In fact they are very active curating their blogs, adding images, reblogging images, following others, and developing interests. But I think you are right that it's not a text-heavy platform. Your survey was only one component of the project and not an indication of how successful the project has been. Were you to publish this in a journal, you would have plenty to add to scholarship in this area. Great job!

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