Can we please disable Tumblarity? Please.

24 August 2009

Bart doesn't like Tumblarity either.

(via fightfirewithariot)

Except this is exactly what is happening. Tumblarity has increased the amount of content on Tumblr, that is indesputable, but it probably hasn't increased the amount of unique or even good content in equal measure to the junk.

I would also argue that Tumblarity doesn't build incentive to interact with the community by following more Tumblrs, or even "like" more posts. This morning I liked about a dozen posts while catching up on my Tumblr-stream and not only did my Tumblarity not increase it decreased.

So, if all you care about is increasing your Tumblarity then by all means reblog, reblog, reblog, but don't participate in discussions, "like" anything that your friends post to Tumblr, or generally produce better content. I think Tumblarity could be done better and should also be optionally hidden.

I realize that the Tumblr team can and probably will release updates to the way that Tumblarity is calculated. However, even if they got it perfect - even if they figured out exactly how best to make a Tumblr's rating increase justly based on the actions of that account, and also decrease based on inactivity or activities that should bring down a Tumblr's popularity - it would still end up being a popularity contest that would incentivize action for the sake of rank. People will do things simply to increase their Tumblarity. And it will be gamed.

I have no doubt that there are people that like Tumblarity. And the Tumblr team has done a good job of helping people find more popular accounts based on tags in their directory and I believe that is powered in part by Tumblarity. I just wish seeing one's Tumblarity was optional. If it was a hidden ranking system then people wouldn't be driven to do things only to increase their rank and it could still be used for valuable things like Tumblr's directory. Out of sight, out of mind. Like taking off the face of your stereo in a parked car.

For the umteenth time - can we please have an option to disable Tumblarity?