The penny just dropped for me on Tumblr
Oh! Oh i see! Tumblr is spectacular after all!
On an long tail internet, user generated content can take four core forms. Text (lets face it, few users are reading more than personal interest and even then just a few paragraphs, Audio (dominated by audio streaming platforms like Spotify), Video (still suffering from poor streaming rates and high costs around the supported advertising) and Images. Where do i go online if I want to find loads of pictures on a niche topic? Well Pinterest does have that cataloging feel to it but users (the publishing userbase) are disengaged and are happy to pick up and put down across a mass of topics.
Tumblr represents a niche committed army of micro bloggers that harvest very very specific images and offer a beautiful feed to scroll through at leisure. Sporting role models, specific models of car, hats shaped like guitars have never been more well organized in an interlinked and transparent network. If, like so many other internet users, you hear the site name but never engage with it, I strongly urge you to play around and get lost. Give it an hour. I swear wide screen PC monitor sales have surged since the emergence of Tumblr and as mobile screens get bigger, this easy-to-digest content will see far more dominance in social. Perhaps marketers will be the next on the bandwagon? Certainly in Europe this is currently unheard of.