10 years ago this Sunday, with modest expectations and little fanfare, Marco and I launched a side-project called Tumblr—a place where anyone could “post anything and customize everything.”
Why did the world need Tumblr? I wasn’t sure it did. But I did.
The net is vast and infinite. The web browser has become a multimedia powerhouse. “Social media” is upending news and entertainment. One-year-old YouTube has created a phenomenon of “viral video.” Google hits for “podcast” have jumped from 100-thousand to 100-million in less than a year. Twitter has just launched. And the “blogosphere” has become the voice of millions, with the total number of blogs now doubling every six months. Dope.
But for all this progress, some of the internet’s brightest promise is fading. The wide-open and whimsical frontier of the World Wide Web is being reshaped by strict, narrow platforms. Our pictures, videos, music, journals, articles, links, status updates, are spread across a dozen different networks—each specializing in a single medium. The infinitely expressive canvas of HTML has been eclipsed by directories of vanilla-white profile pages. Our digital identities are fractured and engineers make the rules.
Enter TumblehubTumblespot Tumblr, a modest solution inspired by an avant-garde community of bloggers calling themselves “tumbleloggers.” The premise, simply, to make space for each individual’s full range of expression. A median between the author’s unfiltered and editorial voice. With complete control over design and presentation, so anyone can create something that truly represents themselves and that is truly unique.
After four months of running my own blog on Tumblr, making tweaks and improvements, we open to the public. Hundreds of thousands of people begin using Tumblr to share some of the most eclectic, clever, and beautiful things we’ve ever seen on the internet.
We are humbled and awestruck.
Racing to keep up, every feature we add attempts to stretch the canvas a little bit more, pushed by this community’s constant and boundless creativity. Five months in, you have captured our hearts. We work up the courage to pursue Tumblr full time.
With a new purpose and braveinvestors, we close down our web development business and reopen as Tumblr, Inc.
336 million Tumblrs. 146 billion posts. And counting.
A generation of artists, writers, creators, curators, and crusaders that have redefined our culture.
I can’t say this enough: Thank you, thank you, thank you for making Tumblr everything that it is. For everything we’ve built, and all its shortcomings, you have managed to make this one of the most creative, lively, thoughtful, supportive, and open-minded corners of the world.
We have learned so much from you and been so moved by your voices.
The Next Ten Years
The internet is at a crossroads again.
Internet culture has become the prevalent, global culture. These networks expose us to new ideas and information but–too often–trap us in bubbles. The world has been compressed, and we are constantly challenged to reconcile our differences.
With so many barriers to digital expression now lifted, and nearly all modes of media supported across all platforms, there is now an unprecedented opportunity to dedicate this space to freedom, truth, expanded perspective, and positive influence in the world. Tumblr’s focus over the next decade will shift accordingly.
Expression has been and always will be a foundational part of Tumblr—and our roadmap this year will not disappoint—but it is now more urgent than ever to empower positive and productive connections across the communities that thrive here. To create an environment where people are truly safe to be themselves. To ensure positive discourse rises above toxicity. And to protect the free exchange of ideas, from which truth will emerge.
We still have so much to prove and so much we’ve promised you. With this renewed focus, we are determined to deliver.
One Last Thing
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone working on, and who has ever worked on, Tumblr. I’ve learned so much from all of you, and it is a privilege to come to work with so many brilliant and talented people. We couldn’t have done any of this without your maniacal devotion throughout this journey.
one of the most inspiring things i’ve ever seen was my co-worker quitting on the spot over an argument and proceeding to purposely make eye contact with my manager as she walked out of the fire exit, making the entire stores alarm go off. it’s was on a level of spite i can only dream of achieving.
the most terrible—
yet the bravest thing
I’ve ever done,
was to continue walking
no matter how slow
my feet move,
how many times
I took a rest
and sat on the ground—
to stand up
this tough road
when all I ever wanted
was to come back
to that wonderful moment
to be wrong,
and when everything
seems perfectly fine.
Like I said, I don’t think I’d ever, you know, say exactly what it’s all about. I think for each person, uh, to kinda take away what they get from something like that is more important. But I think ‘Sign of the Times’ is probably the most literal song on the album. I think it’s just a view - kind of a lot of things that go on.
Harry talking about the inspiration behind ‘Sign of the Times’
She looked at me with eyes of honey and curiosity
And asked me why God had made her so deeply peculiar in a world full of conformity.
I simply laughed and explained to her that she was strong black coffee, in a world full of people who loved sweet tea.
She was brown mud in a world that romanticized flowers.
She was rain in a world that craved sunshine.
She was black and white in a world that envied color.
She was forgiveness in a world that sought revenge.
She was loud in a world that wanted silence.
I’d explained to her that I’d always envied her for being a wolf in a world full of sheep.
I’d explain that there was no pride in normalcy.
In the end, she is a leader in the pack, the rest of us are simply existing in a herd.
indieluhv, “You are the most beautifully odd thing I’ve ever seen”
I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
of your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
the fact that even found isak after all of that, all of that – losing his friends, probably questioning his sexuality, trying to take his own life – the fact that after all of that, things looked up and he found someone to love and who loves him back unconditionally is one of the most uplifting and awe-inspiring things that has ever happened on this show and i am so, so grateful
- “ I accidentally grabbed your notebook and I found a crap ton of gay writings/doodles and they’re amazing. Wait, are those combinations of our names all over the pages?” AU
- “I have no one to sit with at lunch so I sat at your table and now your friends are not-so subtly kicking you under the table. Now they’re very loudly whispering that your crush has shown up and oh my god. I have never seen you this red by the way.” AU
- “I’m much taller than you but you have the locker above my mine. Now I have to awkwardly crouch underneath you twice a day and I almost headbutted you in the crotch, I’m sorry.” AU
- “It’s the middle of a class but I had to go to the bathroom and I can hear you scream singing Broadway musicals from one of the stalls.“ AU
- “It’s finals week and you forgot you had a math exam today. Now you’re screaming into into your hands while laying on the ground and I’m laughing hysterically while trying to read equations to you.” AU
- “There is a lockdown drill that’s lasting a really long time so we’re stuck in a dark room crammed under a desk together. Wanna talk about our feelings now?” AU
- “I forgot my gym shirt and no one is letting me borrow theirs so can I have yours, even though it’s several sizes too large? Thanks, but you can stop telling me I look really cute in your clothing because I can’t stop blushing.” AU
- “Our teacher is really boring so I zoned out while accidentally staring at you. Now, instead of being mad you’re just making weirder and weirder poses until I realize what’s happening.” AU
- “I didn’t know that this desk I sat down at was yours so instead of telling me to move you just sat on my lap and started taking notes. Also, I kinda don’t want you to move because you’re really cute.” AU
- “The substitute legit doesn’t care about this class so we’re doing increasingly worse and weirder things to see if he calls us out. And now you’re basically straddling me while a group of kids is singing happy birthday and honestly this is the most romantic thing to ever happen to me.” AU
- “We were forced to go outside due to a fire drill and I forgot my jacket, which sucks because it’s super cold. Thanks for lending me this jacket but you’re my crush and I almost screamed when you gave it to me. Just know, you’re never getting this back.” AU
meg’s photoshoot with rob was one of the single most visually inspiring things i’d ever seen so i was REALLY intimidated to take on a single one of them. i told myself i wouldn’t pour a ton of time into this, and then immediately threw that thought in the trash
justinmeldaljohnsen: A nice pic of these two folks that I’m glad to have gone through some great journeys with. A few words about Taylor, while I’m here: He’s one of the most naturally gifted musicians and producers I’ve ever encountered. His vision for this new @paramore album was clear, from start to finish. His skill, knowledge, and taste led the way. Working by his side, and seeing all these attributes grow and flourish, was very inspiring for me. Expect many more great things from him in the future! Thanks for reading, sorry for the glut of pics, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.