This week I’ve been exploring the Tumblr blog of one Francene Higman. I apologize for the late posting on this last, but, as a writer, should wine, rare steak, rough sex, and chocolate covered strawberries ever fail to divert me from work, I won’t have any passions left to write about. Moving on.
Underneath the “about” on the front page of Francene’s blog, right next to the “Read Before Following” button, is a series of other links. These links function much the same as categories on WordPress; when you click on one, it brings you to a page that compiles all posts tagged in that category. This is interesting because Tumblr posts generally include comments in list form, a sort of shorthand conversation.
If you click on the “Blood Magick” button (Did I mention that’s her area of expertise? Talk about burying the lead..) it takes you to the compilation page for all posts that Francene tagged in that category. The first post links to a thesis paper entitled “Blood beliefs in early modern Europe”, which is full of titillating information for the uninitiated. Under this first post though, are conversations that Francene has had with her subscribers, and chunks of text that others have posted on the subject, that she later reblogged. This gives the reader a more cohesive story about her beliefs systems based not only on the information she reblogs, but the way she interacts and responds to her readers questions and comments.
Conversely, if you scroll through her blog, you’ll find the sort of content that she laid out in her “Read Before Following” post. The difference is that this content also bears a running conversation in the comments at the bottom of the image, video, ect. This information compounds with that found in the overview, and suddenly, a far more cohesive narrative emerges. Because of the conversational nature of Tumblr comments, details about Francene emerge naturally, as they would in a face-to-face interaction.
Through the use of tags, a “Read Before Following” page, and interaction with readers, the story that started with a 21 year old illustration student, has blossomed into the nuanced sort of narrative you would expect from a living breathing character.