The below post by a fellow Tumblr user sums up my stance quite succinctly. To the halfwits who keep telling me I have no legal rights to the subdomain and that Tumblr can do whatever they want, please realize I’ve always been fully aware of this. That’s why I have taken to “whining” about this on my personal blog instead of hiring a lawyer, because it’s my only recourse. Pitchfork has sort of offered to give me back my subdomain, and although they haven’t actually contacted me, and although they still feel the need to imply that they are in a position to determine when a blog is “abandoned,” their response was measured and mature in comparison to Tumblr’s and I’ll take it at face value. Pitchfork can’t really do anything more to fix things, so unless further information comes to light, they are pretty much absolved. Tumblr, however, has flat out lied, refused to apologize, sidestepped the main issue, had their “Director of Community Outreach” publicly malign me, and generally been vindictive and amateurish. Also, I’m not sure what this indicates, but try doing a search for “tumbledore” in your dashboard and see if you get any hits from this week, you won’t, because I’ve been “Google China’d.”
- Tumblr’s story is inconsistent. One employee claims a notification of domain-dormancy/eviction was sent and not replied to within 72 hours. Another said no notification was sent due to the domain’s inactivity.
- Pitchfork’s story—that they got the domain within 10 minutes of inquiring about it—is consistent with only one of Tumblr’s two versions of said story: specifically, the unofficial, emoticon-marked support team e-mail. Meanwhile, it is largely at odds with Meghano’s strident description/defense of Tumblr’s actions.
- Pitchfork’s story, Tumbledore’s claims and the Tumblr support team e-mail all correspond to one reality. Meghano’s post, which for all intents and purposes is the current official Tumblr statement pending further comment, is alone in its interpretation of events. It is “the thing that is not like the others.”
- I can directly refute Meghano’s assertion that there were “zero” posts uploaded at pitchfork.tumblr.com (which I followed) at the time the domain was rezoned. Source: my own eyes.
- The possibility remains that Pitchfork was more aggressive in seeking the use of this particular domain than it lets on in the released statement.
I won’t bother with the inductive conclusions.
Now then, if we’re done sounding like a bunch of Twitter users complaining about Twitter or Blogspot users complaining about Blogspot or Facebook users complaining about Facebook, I have something to tell you: The people operating your favorite social networking hubs are not your friends, not your enemies, not your kindred spirits. Neither are they abstract market forces. They are corporate people working in a corporate structure, making corporate mistakes and trying to cover their corporate asses in a hyperconnected, digital-paper-trail-type place where it’s all too easy to get called on your corporate bullshit.
By which I mean, variously: Demand accountability, don’t expect it; lose your rosy picture of Web 2.0 entrepreneurship; and as Omar Little would say, the game the game.
UPDATE: After I and several others publicly noted these strange search results, there were suddenly loads of new search results 30 minutes later. Just a coincidence I’m sure.