December 17th – a rescue plan
Some good news, I’ve been talking to two developers now and got them working together, we just had a meeting with the guys behind an existing large (millions of users) site similar to Tumblr, with a vibrant and open-minded community, and more importantly, it has open-minded owners who believe in free speech. They think we can get something done here to rescue the whole community.
I’m not allowed to reveal the site name yet. I can tell you it’s mainstream, open to everyone, open-minded and welcoming. (It’s not WordPress or any site owned by Facebook or Twitter. It’s not Pillowfort, that’s in closed beta. It’s not Ello, that’s mainly for artists. It’s not kinkspace or fetlife, those are too specialist. It’s not jux, that seems to be closed. It’s not Soup, that seems still in development and too small.)
One of the reasons for delaying the announcement for next few days is they don’t want a “land grab” where people take the names of current popular Tumblr users over there (cyber squatting). So they are looking at ways for existing Tumblr users to keep the same names on the new site.
More info over the days to come.
The plan is, broadly:
1. By December 9th, announcement of the new site and how to secure your username there
2. By December 10th, an online tool for bloggers to copy their existing content to the new site automatically, with the same tags and captions.
3. Bloggers will need to copy their content across between December 10th and December 17th if they want to use the automatic tool.
4. My understanding is that after December 17th there will be no public access to any “flagged” posts on Tumblr, but the original poster will still be able to see the flagged post (for a short time at least). Therefore, the original poster may still be able to manually download a post to their own PC or phone, after December 17th, and manually upload it to the other site. But if you have lots of posts that will take a long time, it will be better to use the automatic tool before December 17th.
Please understand that these dates are approximate and may change for technical or other reasons.
There may be a few rough edges or not so perfect looking site design on the transfer tool. Everyone is doing their best. The main goal here is to help as many people as possible preserve access to their content, in the short space of time Tumblr has allowed us, and preserve as much as possible of the Tumblr community spirit somewhere new.
The new site will cater for photo, GIF, text and html posts. It will not offer video and audio posts, due to cost reasons – maybe in future, but for now you will need to preserve video and audio content yourself in some other place.
If your Tumblr blog has a mixture of original content and reblogs, or all reblogs, all of that can be copied over to the new site. Reblogs will become “your” original content if nobody else posted them yet, otherwise they will be shown as reblogs. The devs are looking at ways to preserve attribution of reblogs back to the original Tumblr poster, if that person also moves to the new site.
Important: your Likes cannot be copied from Tumblr to the new site. You will have to go find the same posts again on the new site, and like them afresh.
(Similarly, existing reblog comments, asks, messages and other user interaction on Tumblr cannot be copied to the new site – that’s just too much to do, in the short time available.)
If you want to preserve any of your existing Liked posts on Tumblr, you will need to either: (1) download the post to your own PC, or: (2A) reblog it now to your own Tumblr blog, and then (2B) use the automatic tool, before December 17th, to move your whole Tumblr blog across to the new site.
If you have Liked a lot of posts here on Tumblr, the gridllr.com webapp should be able to help you do steps 1 and 2A quickly, I mean download or reblog.
(Someone complained to me today about the appearance of Gridllr on a phone. It’s best to use Gridllr on a PC, Mac or Tablet with a large screen.)
If you have liked a post here on Tumblr and the original poster decides to delete it, or even to delete their entire blog, some time before December 17th, then that post will be permanently lost. So if you want to be sure to preserve any of your Liked posts, you should best download or reblog as soon as possible. If it’s reblogged to your own blog it is safe from deletion, at least for next few days.
Obviously, you will lose access, after December 17th, to all past posts you have liked, if Tumblr has flagged them as NSFW. Again, the steps (1), or (2A) and (2B) covered above will be the only way to hold on to these posts.
Pass it on fellas!