Yahoo vows not to “screw it up” with Tumblr
Yahoo is acquiring Tumblr for $1.1 billion cash, a bold bet by Chief Executive Marissa Mayer to revitalize the struggling Internet pioneer by co-opting a Web property with strong visitor traffic but little revenue. The deal will use about a fifth of Yahoo’s $5.4 billion in cash and marketable securities.
“Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business,” Yahoo said in a statement on Monday.
Photo: REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Well, one thing’s for sure: I plan to continue working from home.
My last post was just a quick tongue-in-cheek response to all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that I’ve seen over the past 36 hours or so from Tumblr users about the many ways in which Yahoo! would destroy Tumblr.
This post is a bit more serious.
If Tumblr is sold to Yahoo! in the near future, I have to be honest and admit that it’s just not going to be a big deal to me. On the one hand, Yahoo! might find ways to improve on my Tumblr experience and, as anyone who reads this blog likely knows, I’ve had some problems with the way Tumblr unveils its updates and deals with massive service interruptions (along with other more minor issues).
On the other hand, if Yahoo! breaks Tumblr (as pretty much everyone thinks is assured), then I’ll just stop using it. I own kohenari.net so I can just keeping writing here and most people who read what I write on a daily basis won’t notice much of a difference. In fact, once all the Tumblr notes and assorted junk disappears, they might just think the interface finally got cleaned up. I’m not sure what would happen to the thousands of Tumblr users who currently follow my blog, but I presume that some of them would continue to read what I write even if — gasp! — they now have to actually point their web browser to my blog instead of seeing it on their Tumblr Dashboard. If I’ve built enough of a “brand” over the past few years, traffic might even pick up a bit since virtually no one from Tumblr ever actually clicks on a link to my blog right now — they just read and share behind the scenes — and they’d have no choice but to actually visit my blog if I leave Tumblr or if Tumblr is wrecked by Yahoo!.
What I’d miss, of course, is the social networking aspect of the website and, in particular two groups of people. The first group consists of the many excellent Tumblr bloggers I’ve gotten to know and with whom I regularly interact. Happily, I’ve become Facebook friends with the majority of these people over the years so I’m sure we’ll continue to communicate and interact with one another even if Tumblr isn’t around in the future or if I’m not using it.
The second group is populated by the wingnuts and trolls who have supplied me with an almost endless stream of material about which I have written these past few years. These are the folks who are planning to outgun the tyrannical American government, who are deeply in love with guns, who are convinced that racism is a thing of the past, who have completely baffling conspiracy theories, who write to me every single day, who are Holocaust deniers, who accuse opponents of the death penalty of racism, who love Slavoj Žižek more than life itself, whose anti-Israel sentiment tends to slide effortlessly into anti-Semitism, and who think that I’m part of a distinct race of Satanists mentioned explicitly in the Bible. If I’m lucky, these folks will follow me wherever I go.
The truth is that Tumblr’s creators are almost certainly going to do what they think is best for themselves — why wouldn’t they?! — and the millions of people who use their service for free are then going to have to decide what they want to do with whatever Tumblr looks like going forward.
Either way, I’m going to be blogging at kohenari.net and my non-Tumblr audience — which is the bulk of my audience — can expect to see very few substantive changes as a result of Yahoo! either buying or not buying Tumblr. If you liked what I’ve been doing, I’ll still be doing it. It’s my Tumblr audience — who might or might not have been paying attention to me all this time anyway — that will need to make some decisions about whether or not to actually visit my blog on a daily or weekly basis if my posts suddenly stop showing up on their Dashboard at some point in the future.
Microsoft Bing’s Facebook advertising campaign is, for some odd reason, focused on keeping you safe from accidental nudity.
Of course, that’s all well and good until you type in the words “accidental nudity” on the Bing website, in which case you get more than a million NSFW results.
Gee, thanks, Bing!
I don’t know anything about Rep. Steve Stockman, a Republican representing Texas’ 36th District, but I do know comedy when I see it.
In other news, at what point will Republicans exhaust themselves in their endless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act? Is it never? If it’s never, just tell me so I can stop paying attention.
Today is my son’s 3rd birthday!
I’m so proud to be this amazing kid’s dad and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store.
So far today, he woke up early, rushed downstairs, saw some presents waiting for him, screamed with joy, opened the Thomas and Friends toys (two new engines and a pirate shipwreck playset!), and then played with them for two hours! We’d still be playing if we didn’t have a little party planned for him and his friends at day care this morning.
It’s the first year that he really understands what it means to have a birthday — even though he sang “Happy Birthday” for a whole week last year — and so he’s been excited about celebrating. As someone who loves birthdays myself, I’m thrilled to see how much he’s enjoying his this morning. He’s so much like me in so many ways — including the fact that he’s a much better looking little version of me — and I always love finding new ways that we’re similar.
For anyone who’s feeling nostalgic, as I am, you can actually go back to his actual birth day or even to the day we posted his ultrasound photos.
As a Red Wings and “Game of Thrones” fan, this is amazing and wonderful in every way.
Nebraska’s Death Penalty
Nebraska’s death penalty is arbitrary, unfair, expensive, and useless … in short, it’s hopelessly, hopelessly broken:
Since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of capital punishment, Nebraska has spent an estimated $100 million on death penalty cases and executed three people.
“Why do we have something on our books that is so inefficient? So costly?” asked Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln, who also once supported the death penalty.
Coash said Nebraska would never again carry out an execution because it was becoming increasingly difficult to get lethal injection drugs.
“There isn’t going to be another execution in this state,” he said. “It’s not gonna happen.
“What good has the death penalty done for our citizens? What good has been done?” Coash asked. “Without an execution, the death penalty is pretty meaningless. It hasn’t saved money. It hasn’t deterred any crime.”
But that doesn’t mean the the legislature is going to repeal the broken, useless, costly, and morally bankrupt “ultimate punishment”:
For the first time in 34 years, a majority of Nebraska lawmakers seems to support abolishing the state’s death penalty.
But a bill they considered Monday to do so appears to be going nowhere since a ”test vote” showed there probably is not enough support to stop a filibuster.
You read that right. A majority of legislators support repeal, but not enough to stop a filibuster or override a veto:
Custom dictates first-round debate on a bill can last as long as eight hours. At that point, it takes 33 of the 49 senators’ votes to end debate and move to a vote.
But after Omaha Sen. Beau McCoy launched a filibuster against the measure, Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha decided to float a trial balloon by filing a motion to kill the bill and then asking for a vote to gauge support.
A vote against killing the bill was, in essence, a vote in support of abolishing the death penalty. The tally was 18 for killing the bill and 26 against — more than the 25 needed to advance the bill to second-round debate but not the 33 needed to end the filibuster or even the 30 required to override an expected veto by Gov. Dave Heineman.
Lawmakers will reach the eight-hour limit Tuesday. Speaker Greg Adams usually will not bring a bill back for further debate at that point unless supporters can prove they have the 33 votes to end the filibuster.
That’s some mighty impressive leadership right there.
Apparently a teacher in Chicago has assigned a paper on the problems with online anonymity, as a whole bunch of people have been reading this old blog post today.
For those folks, and for all of you with an interest in the topic, there’s also this one, this one, and this one.
Also, if you happen to be that teacher, I’ll be really interested to know how much of my blog post your students plagiarized.