I Could Have Bought Tumblr… Who Knew?

I like tumblr.  Ever since it launched I liked it.  I never really stuck with it though.  I had a blog where I posted photos.  I had another blog that I started when the band that would eventually become Lizardfish first formed in my basement.  After I left the band a few months later I turned it into a recording project tracking thing.  I still use it during RPMs in February, and I started using it for this year’s 50/90, even though that challenge is pretty much dead in the water (I haven’t officially given up yet, but it’s been a month since I’ve done anything).

When tumblr was sold to Yahoo I assumed the worst, just like everyone else.  They said they weren’t going to change anything, but I am a Flickr user so I know how bad Yahoo can screw things up.  I don’t know if the numbers bear it out, but it felt like the entire universe lost interest.  I let my photo site lapse to the point that tumblr actually recycled the name and URL.  I don’t remember what either of them were so I can’t look to see if anyone claimed them.  I also stopped looking for other RPM/FAWM/NASOALMO/50-90 users.  The whole platform seemed like a ghost town.  There were a few times when I thought about changing platforms and tumblr was an option, but I never went with it.

Yahoo bought tumblr for 1.1 Billion dollars in 2013.  When Yahoo was sold to Verizon, tumblr was part of the package.  Verizon did not do the site any favors and it just continued to slowly die.

This week Automattic, the company that owns wordpress.com (the blog hosting site you are reading right now), bought tumblr for, reportedly, less than three million dollars.

Let’s do the math on this.  Let’s take the money Yahoo paid and the money Automattic paid and see how big the difference is…

1,100,000,000 – 3,000,000 = an absolute shit ton of difference.

The price Automattic paid is about 0.27% of the price Yahoo paid.


If I could have gotten a decent bank loan for myself I bet even I could have bought tumblr.

I hope Automattic can bring it back to life.  I would guess they could market it as a sort of wordpress.com lite.  WordPress.com is already kind of full WordPress lite as it is, so maybe that would work for them?  Add some of the things we like about wordpress.com to tumblr, and some of the things we like about tumblr to wordpress.com, and still try and keep them unique from each other.  I think it could work.  I don’t know if I’d want to merge them.  tumblr is more of a social media thing where wordpress.com is more of a commercial thing, at least from what I can tell (even though it’s sort of a social media thing for me.  Oh well).  They have already announced they are going to keep the adult content ban that Verizon put in place.  That’s good.  I like being able to update my little music page at work without having to worry about some one dumping porn into my dashboard, thank you very much.

Good luck to you, tumblr.  Maybe in a few years I’ll be able to dig the coins out of my couch cushions and make a serious offer to purchase you.

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