I will admit that I’m still a huge lover of Tumblr. I probably would have been in Year 9 when I made my first ever Tumblr account. I don’t even remember what I would have done on there at that time… I do remember my friends at school never knowing what it really was whenever I spoke about it though, but it was always so hard to explain. Back then it was more of a place to share around nice photos and random memes, but now-a-days it’s so much more.
Sure, there’s still the blogs that only post memes and gifs, but there’s also blogs on there hoping to make a difference. I first became aware of the trend #BlackLivesMatter through the people I follow on Tumblr. There was almost no coverage of it in Australian news, and I liked the personal touch that came with it. We were no longer receiving the cold, hard facts. We were experiencing different people’s stories and they were sharing their experiences of what was happening half a world away. These users are acting as gatewatchers, and as Axel Bruns explains, we are “relying less on first-hand investigative research and the ability to compose succinct news stories, and more on information search and retrieval skills especially in online environments”
Mitew, T., 2014, ‘Bridges Made of Pebbles — Social Media and the Rise of Gatewatchers’, Lecture /YouTube Video, DIGC202, University of Wollongong, 15 September 2014, via <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1wlVOQA8y8&index=28&list=PLiPp71qLKusXOU1bKxHVappCbRNN3-J-j>
Miller, Julie. ’12 Interesting And Business-Leveraging Facts About Tumblr’. LevelTen Dallas, TX. N.p., 2015. <http://getlevelten.com/blog/julie-miller/12-interesting-and-business-leveraging-facts-about-tumblr>