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The Tumblr experiment: part 2

Do you remember my Tumblr experiment? If not let me sum it up for you:

There are very simple pics of items such as clothes, accessories, or closeup of hairdos with tons of notes, which means many people liked or reblogged them. So I wondered what made a picture popular, if the quality of the picture itself, or the quality of the depicted item.



I chose the second option by taking a  picture of a high end blush (if you are interested it is the Chanel crème blush #63 Revelation) on a minimal white background aka my living room curtains. I posted the pic on my Tumblr without any editing.






So what happened?
About 2 months later my picture reached 13 notes:

5 people liked it, 
4 people reblogged it from my page, 
other 4 reblogged from one of those reblog which I assume was an averagely popular tumblr page.

The interesting fact is that the owner of one of those "cutesy" popular Tumblr pages said the idea was good but to really fit into her blog it needed some editing and she offered to modify it (leaving the credits) before reblogging. Seemed fair and I was pretty curious to see what possible editing you could do on a picture that, in my eyes, had nothing to envy to similar ones and of a blusher which has a specific colour in real life. 

The edited picture was in fact just instagram-cropped and it got 5 notes:

3 likes (one from me to keep track of it and because, les-b-honest, it's basically just cropped!)

and 2 reblogs from her Tumblr.


I spoke about this experiment with a few people and I got some very interesting responses:


A key factor for reblogging, other than the number followers with a 'personal blog' reblogging random things, is the number of similar type blogs following you. Apparently the amount of notes a certain picture gets depends on who posts it and what type of blogs it starts getting reblogged from, which makes sense also according to my experiment. Even though I totally underestimated this factor in my two initial options.

In my case I have a make-up themed blog, so publishing a picture of makeup was a good idea, but makeup blogs are usually more technical, it's all about getting the right shade, the perfect surface, or presenting a whole palette of colours or some limited edition collections. Whereas most of those 'bubblegum' pages reblog things that are pastel or really bright and light in color, nonetheless, my picture did fit in pretty well, like I said about the more popular page that edited my picture.



Some argued that the background is not minimalistic enough if I really want to go for that style, which is a valid point of view but easily brought back to the personal preference. Or maybe it's me not getting the difference between white and white. Give me a black background and I will show you the world! 

I think I have to agree that what matters in the end are the object depicted, the editing and the kind of blog that repost the picture. But a small part of me still believe it's just a matter of popularity. Unless using a supercool reflex to take a picture of a messy hairbun instantly turns it into a likeable thing; in this case the object, the kind of blog and the popularity wouldn't matter.

According to this I can simply cross out the second part of the experiment, which would have been taking a professional picture of something random but "cute" . If it all reduces to e-popularity that would work only if I asked someone tumblr-famous to post it for me... Which is not a silly idea actually! Anyone willing to help? :P



So what did we learn from my experiment? That Tumblr is an alien form of life with its will and preferences and we all are subject to its power as if we're sucked into its black hole. That sounds lovely, doesn't it?!


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