I was in LA last week, and sometime during the 11-hour drive back home, my account was terminated on tumblr, ostensibly for “spam or affiliate marketing.” Right after I gave out a business card to several dozen people with my tumblr blog URL on it. Awesome. (incidentally, blackunicorn.org is now pointing here)
Now, the truth is I’m not sure whether I used any affiliate links on a tumblr post or not. I have an Amazon Associates account and I have an affiliate account at Craftsy and I probably forgot that using them on tumblr is verboten. (EDIT (7/29/2015): After asking tumblr to give me an example of a post they considered spam or affiliate marketing, they reinstated my tumblr and apologized to me. Apparently I just got caught in a filter.)
I’m a little surprised at my relative calm about the whole situation. I’m a bit embarrassed, sure, and kind of miffed about how unceremoniously all that work was just…gone. Like, ooh! I had 613 followers! That’s a lot! And now I only have two (yeah, I went back already, but mostly to follow my pals and a really embarrassing amount of Sherlock and Sailor Moon analysis). But it got me thinking about my priorities and what “all that work” really was. Amassing followers on tumblr was fun and there was definitely some kind of dopamine hit associated with it, but it really didn’t do much to further my goals as an artist/illustrator/maker of stuff. Those of you who found me over there and joined my mailing list for the free goodies and fun times have been amazing to get to know, and the other 600-odd followers were basically just checkmarks (read: they never bought anything and never reblogged my stuff).
And, I’ve been thinking over the last two days about tumblr’s policy on forbidding affiliate marketing, while encouraging people to post there about their Etsy shops and Kickstarter campaigns by automatically including big friendly green “buy” buttons when the post includes links to those sites. It’s a clear judgement on the value and quality of one kind of link over the other, which ulitmately, I can’t say I disagree with.
As I said, I am still on tumblr, using a different email address (I had an account specifically for posting Animal Crossing screenshots that I’m now using as an everything-tumblr). But, as I should have been doing this whole time, my regular blogging will happen here. I had this thought the last time I re-did my portfolio that this would be for big, serious, professional blogging, and that mostly meant I only rarely posted anything. So I’m gonna get real loose with it again, and see what happens. Hell, maybe I’ll even turn comments on, and make it a proper blog-blog.