Pael Balbaboco (@raphaelandthemachine) once said, "When old Tumblr bloggers meet, they don’t talk about Tumblr anymore. They talk about their lives." True enough, it became more of an attitude, a part of growing up, a stage in the life of young people in an online community that just have to change. 2009-2011 being the best years of tumblr, when everything is all about making sense, having genuine fun, all the misfits, the dashboard fights, tumblarity, and a lot more crazy antics our local dashboard was known for.
And we wonder, a couple of years after resting on that dashboard, where are the old and the pioneer tumbloggers? We always craved for a gathering these people might want to organize or a gathering that’s exclusive for the earliest batch. Until it happened last September 15, coined as the THE CLASSIC MEET UP. In this interview, Kamilla Sumagui (@marschmalllews), talks about the premium experience back in the old tumblr days, meeting old friends, and future plans for the classic meet up.
When and how did you discover tumblr?
Back in the days of 2008, I was a regular user of Friendster and Multiply. I blogged on Multiply all the time, back then. But I always had a hard time browsing around people’s blogs because the links were so tiny and you never really get quick responses from anyone.
Eventually, I find Tumblr. The first line I saw on the page was, “The easiest way to blog.” It had me there. That was all ever needed. I registered on October 24, 2009 and I never deactivated. I named it after my favorite sweet, the marshmallows, but I just changed the spelling to “marschmallews”.
How will you describe tumblr back then? What are the things that best remind you of tumblr 2009-2011
There have been a lot of vast changes on Tumblr especially with how things work. I remember the “Tumblarity” system. I didn’t really have the time to know how that worked out technically because I was young and I only cared about posting about Harry Potter, food and other cool and funny things. Back then I thought it’s just about how regularly you post. I remember following back the people who followed me and talking to other users via “reblogging” their posts. The ask box didn’t exist yet. 2010, I attended the first meetup I have ever had in my life. The Christmas Party Meetup… where the people were still friends with each other.
2011, various issues started coming up. It wasn’t a great sight, in my opinion. Bullying became a trend. “Bashing” is their term for that. It seemed fun not until it got too personal.
But I digress it was a fun experience; growing up with Tumblr had its bumps along the road but nevertheless, it was memorable.
How about now? What are the changes?
From a personal point of you, the people I met on Tumblr, changed so much. Some continued being famous, some kept blogging, but some moved on with their lives got married and had kids.
From a technical point of view, I must say, it has been a lot easier with the changes in layout and navigation. It’s simple, contemporary but very much EASIER to use.
Why do you think most Tumbloggers claim that tumblr was way better back then?
I believe it’s because of how true people were back then. It was how genuine we were to each other and there wasn’t a missing link between the “followed” a.k.a. the ~*feymouz*~ and the “followed-back”. People actually cared about talking naturally with people.
Now, most people have doubts about whom they’re talking to, whether they are real or because of their sexual preference.
Best and worst thing about tumblr.
If I could classify my top 3 for the best and the worst, here goes for the best:
TOP3 BEST THINGS about Tumblr:
1. Freedom of Information
2. “Reblog”, “Follow/Unfollow” and the Anonymous option on the Tumblr Ask
TOP3 WORST THINGS about Tumblr
1. How easy it is to plagiarize
2. When the dashboard makes you hungry at the most inconvenient moment. (Most especially when photos of bacon come up)
3. How easy it is to bash/bully someone who isn’t strong.
The Classic Meet Up that you guys organized was the first gathering that aimed to unite old tumbloggers/tumblr users. How did you come up with this? Who are the people behind it?
I feel honored to be part of the team. Noel Rimando and I were the first to come up with it. It began from the weekly trend of posting #ThrowbackThursday submissions on Facebook. Facebook helped out a lot because many of the Tumblr users that we wanted to come, deactivated their Tumblr accounts. After that, we posted a simple photo that had the phrase “Reunion?” and then we tagged all the batch mates we could find.
We invited Robi Lim (theroblim), Cheska Manuel (disturbedlights), Dianne Ocampo (kissableloly) and Kath Kapulong (kaththecrapout) to help out with the proceedings since they were part of the first Filipino Tumblr users to organize the first meet-up ever.
How was the experience?
The experience was very memorable in two ways. First was the fact that only at least 30 people came-and-went and the second was the fact that even if there was a typhoon, they came anyway.
We met up with half of the people at my pad at Vito Cruz because these are the people who do not know how to get to the Cultural Center of the Philippines. These people brought food with them; which was really heartwarming on my part as an organizer because they really put up with the “picnic” idea. Others went straight from home to CCP because it was more accessible to them. The journey to CCP was just one ride on the orange jeep but the typhoon made it a lot difficult for us to carry all our things.
Upon arriving, there was a bunch of people watching us come up, laughing and enjoying themselves despite of the weather. When the night consumed the day, we all decided to move somewhere else. The closest place for food and comfort rooms was Harbor Square. We all hung out and ate dinner at Jollibee there. Some of the people still followed to Jollibee, like Skat (iskaterpillar) and Edison Pasion.
Future plans for this meet up? Are you guys interested to work on a sequel?
Some of my Tumblr friends suggested that the Part 2 would be a Halloween Meet-up but we lacked preparation time and a lot of people would definitely have plans of heading to the coolest Halloween parties in town.
But we are definitely interested on working a sequel because it needs one. Not sure when yet but we’ll keep you posted, Tumblr Mag! ;)
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JORGE ANDY DIZA (@xdy)