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In defense of Tumblr, which is not a mere “hipster-porn platform,” Variety Magazine

Here’s the thing about analysts. Sometimes, they say things that sound really good to reporters who are trying to fit larger narratives. Those things can be catty, or rude, or disrespectful to larger audiences and communities—in part because they’re well-separated from the actual people using a product on a day-to-day basis.

Similar things are often said about another social network, Twitter, by analysts like Albert Fried & Co.’s Rich Tullo.

So it wasn’t shocking to see a quote like this in a story about Yahoo’s woes as a company. The company has problems, and Tumblr is just one element of a machine that somehow has Katie Couric on the payroll.

But for some reason, I found myself get very angry about this these two sentences, because it clearly was meant to paint an entire platform with a very broad brush, one that doesn’t even capture the nuance of what Tumblr has been or became. I spent years building a community on this very platform, a community full of amazing people who were interested in an immense variety of topics, who have used the dashboard as a way to shove creative ideas into their faces 24 hours a day.

I left it nearly two years ago. I was ready for something else, and I don’t regret that departure. I was in a creative rut and ready to try something else. It was good for me as a writer and a guy who creates stuff. And, honestly, the routine change worked: I’ve got more sparks flying than ever these days. But I left carrying all the tools that I gained from this project, this community, and the cool people I’ve met via Tumblr.

I admit that I haven’t hopped on Tumblr in a good long while. It’s not because I don’t miss it, but because every few years, I start getting antsy, looking for a new approach and outlet, a new way to say interesting things. But whenever I do show up here, I’m still impressed by the way that it’s still got life and energy and smart people hanging around. The process of sharing and reblogging, though it’s changed some in the last couple of years, remains one of the coolest ways to remix stuff on the internet.

There are a lot of trees here—you can’t flippantly describe this place in terms of a two-dimensional forest. It’s not Pinterest or Instagram because it’s Tumblr, and that’s what it should continue to be. If Yahoo can’t figure out a way to make money on it, it should experiment more. It’s totally possible—they just have to think creatively and take advantage of the smarts all over the place on this internet microcosm.

Apologies to Marissa Mayer, Jerry Yang, and the rest of the folks associated with the company, but Yahoo has had a creative thinking problem for years—Tumblr is not the only example of it. Flickr floated around without a life preserver for years, and Delicious never did find the brass ring. 

(And enough with the hipster porn jokes. Those were old back in 2011.)

So no, Rich Tullo, you did not do your job as an analyst by dropping these two lines about Tumblr in an article designed to slag it, along with the woman who brought it to Yahoo. You should restart your analysis and try again. Because you clearly didn’t look hard enough. You got me ticked off enough that I threw something on this site again just to rebuke these dumb comments. — Ernie @ SFB

Elder Scrolls Names: Nords

To continue our series on lore-friendly names, I’ll be going over the good ol’ Nords. As with the other posts, names that have occurred in Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, and even Online will be analyzed for common prefixes and suffixes in order to help the reader compile his or her own lore-friendly name. Arena & Daggerfall used a small number of prefixes and suffixes to make randomized names within each race; thus, I won’t count these names. However, this name series is based on the assumption that prefixes and suffixes are still an important part of Elder Scrolls names. We’ll start with first names:

Gender-Neutral Prefixes

  • Ag- (for short names), Ae- (short names), Al-, An-, Br-
  • Fr-, Fry-, Ei-, Fjo-, Fa-
  • Gre-, Her-, Hei-, Hr-, Hlo-
  • Ma-, Ly-
  • Si-, Sig-, Sva-, Ra-, Ro-
  • Y- (Ysgramor, Ysmir, Ygfa, Ysolda, Yrsa)

Gre-, Hel-, and Ing- are predominantly female prefixes

Ar-, Bal-, Thon-, Thor-, and Bryn- are predominantly male prefixes

Female Suffixes

  • -a is very unique to female names
  • -di*, -ri, -ki*, -di*, -gi
  • -is*
  • -te, -tte, -de, -ne
  • -hild*, -vild*
  • -ja (pronounced “ya”)

Male Suffixes

  • -il, -id,  -ir*, -rir, -im, -eim
  • -eid, -er*, -en*
  • -ar, -as, -and  
  • -rek, -ing*, -und*
  • -of, -od, -skar,

*Across genders, but more common for this gender

A common letter in Nord prefixes is the letter “J,” used to make a “y” sound. For instance: Kjolver, Mjoll, Fjrokvar, Kjeld, Skjoldr, Sjoring.

If you’re unsure what to put between the prefix and suffix, I recommend hard-sounding consonants like v, d, n, and g. Here are some names I can make with what’s above: Agnis, Lyvette, Sigvild, Svalding, Hlodrir.

Titles & Clan Names

Nords do not usually carry family names. Rather, they have clans or titles. Titles can change over time, however a Nord carries his clan to the grave. Titles can come before a name, as with Lucky Lorenz, Crazy Batou, and Fetid Jofnhild. However, this is very rare. It’s difficult to pinpoint which names are clans. The clans we know are:

  • Battle-Born
  • Stormcloak
  • Gray-Mane
  • Black-Briar
  • Snow-Shod
  • Stormfist
  • Shatter-Shield
  • Free-Winter
  • Cruel-Sea
  • Silver-Blood
  • Hard-Heart may be a clan, but it could also be a twin title given to the brothers who have the name (Sjoring and Radd)
  • Cold-Eye may also be a clan, as 4 people at Stonetooth Fortress carry the name
  • The Earth-Turners are a well-known family in ESO, however it is unclear if it is merely a family title or a clan name
  • Direfrost family, a clan of witch-hunters
  • Boneshaper, Rageclaw, and Stonetalon are clans of Reachmen

As for titles, you can choose anything that fits your RP, really. Hyphens are common as well. Common titles include: the Bold, Half-Troll, Ice-Mane, One-Eye.

So, after doing all this reading and analyzing, I can now make a full name with the above: Ygrette Wildheart.

As always, you can search for your specific preferences in this list of Nord names.