An Open Letter to Tumblr
I really love you as a blogging platform. I don’t really think I could have started Minimal Mac as quickly as I did, nor keep up with posting regular content as easily, on any other platform. In fact, I still feel this is the case. I really do feel that if I switched to Wordpress or any other solution it would not be as easy or as pleasurable an experience to use when it is available to me.
That said, the past few months there has been excessive downtime on your service. Not just weekly but several times a day. I’m not sure of the reasons why, as you have not provided an explanation that I am aware of. That said, those times, although frequent, are usually brief enough that they have been outweighed in my mind by my enjoyment of the platform.
This current outage, it’s sheer length of downtime, and your lack of clarity about expectations for its resolution, are disheartening at best and irresponsible at most. It really saddens me because, as you may be able to tell from above, I’m a big fan and don’t want to switch.
If the problem is that you have grown too fast and lack the infrastructure to be able to handle the load, say that and then let us know your plan to correct this. If you are unable to correct it due to lack of cash flow, please start charging money for the service because that would kill both problems with one stroke (i.e. cause a mass exodus and give you revenue from those, like me, who would stay and gladly pay). No matter the problems, please simply explain what they are and how you plan to fix them. Such transparency would go a long way with me.
The bottom line of all of this is that both my content and my readers deserve better then what you are allowing me to deliver right now. What good is my writing and curating if it can’t be read or seen? What good is the trust I have spent time forming with my audience if they can’t trust that this site will be there for them to enjoy at a time that suits them?
So please, just be straight with us. It’s the least you can do.
The Random Post
A Better Freelancer
Update: Credit where it’s due. That said, it may be too little too late for me.
Lately I’ve been recommending tumblr as a blogging platform to anyone who asks me. I’m feeling very sheepish about that now, and will be reluctant to do so again until I’m confident it will be up some reasonable percentage of the time.
The real fail is not in the downtime, but in the inability to communicate status during it and to instill confidence it’s been resolved afterward. I manage giant technology systems for a living. I’d have been fired fifteen minutes into this last outage if all I had to offer was an “I’m incredibly sorry” page to my customers. To have nothing more than that 20 hours into it is mind-blowing. I hope the VC guys behind the effort got a better explanation. This thing will go dark otherwise.
I’m only here for the yucks, really, but some people are trying to be serious and/or make a buck, and it looks like they’re better off elsewhere.