(Image Via: http://carrionlaughing.tumblr.com/)
Tumblr (an online community where individuals post images and short scripts/posts, largely in relation to popular culture and fandom) the microblogging website has largely been forgotten by academics and has very little written about it, despite the fact that it is quite widely used (Anderson 2015). However, Libraries are increasingly using Tumblr as a way to engage with students and patrons in a more eclectic and modern way, and certainly it has become the responsibility of libraries to improve the online literacy of its clients (McShane 2011). The use of Tumblr as a classroom tool is not a new idea, it is used often as a more engaging form of blogging (Kohen, 2014).
Carrion Laughing is the Tumblr of one of two female writers for Doctor Who’s 9th season. Despite having a female producer at it’s inception (Verity Lambert) Doctor who has had only 4 female writers since its beginning. Carrion Laughing offers commentary on modern culture, from politics to television. It makes the majority of its comments around gender and occasionally racial and sexual diversity in television and films. Such spaces offer an unedited commentary on modern culture. It is also one of the forums in which fandoms express opinions and ‘ship’ characters from television and film. Increasingly such sites are having an impact on what is produced in the mainstream media.
Image: FANART for 221B @ SH/JW
Many Tumblr sites offer single fandom commentary, an opportunity for a community to connect, comment, rewrite and re-imagine their favorite television series, such as BBC’s Sherlock. Nybro (2014) writes about the phenomenon of Tumblr in relation to Sherlock discussing how it provides a multimedia platform for growth and comment. Such platforms are increasingly referenced as influences over popular culture. The online community’s backlash over Glee’s “Brittania” breakup and Brittany’s subsequent dating of a Male character, was overtly referenced in the show with the Britany character stating that she feared the backlash of “angry lesbian bloggers” (Episode 409). Sexual identity is often discussed on the Carrion Laughing Blog, as Frank and Miller (2014) point out Tumblr is a fertile ground for individuals to assert control over their sexuality, both through fanfiction, fanart and commentary.
Whilst there are a lot of Tumblr sites for student to visit, Carrion Laughing offers a real world link (the author is also a prolific television writer), a variety of views on both popular culture and real world politics and is well curated. It is an exceptional example of a well-managed Tumblr and is updated daily. Most comments are backed with statistics and references, and it offers a good balance of text and images. In addition it is SFW (Safe For Work). It can be difficult to identify Tumblrs that fulfill all these criteria.
Anderson , K., E., (2015) “Libraries and Tumblr: a quantitative analysis”, Reference Services Review, Vol. 43 Iss: 2, pp.156 – 181
Carrion Laughing Tumblr: http://carrionlaughing.tumblr.com/
Fink, M., Miller, Q., Trans Media Moments: Tumblr, 2011–2013, Television & New Media, 11/2014, Volume 15, Issue 7
Hogan, H., on the AfterEllen.com Website: “Glee” recap (4.09): Something Stupid, http://www.afterellen.com/tv/104688-glee-recap-409-somethin-stupid
Kohen, A., Tumbling Political Theory, Politics, 12/2014, Volume 34, Issue 4
McShane, Ian (2011). Public libraries, digital literacy and participatory culture., Discourse : Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 32 (3) pp.383-397.
Nybro, L., N., Sherlock fans talk: Mediatized talk on tumblr, Northern Lights: Film & Media Studies Yearbook, Volume 12, Number 1, June 2014, pp. 87-104(18)
Reise on Autostraddle: Glee 409 Recap: Swan Song Of Myself, http://www.autostraddle.com/glee-recap-410-swan-song-of-myself-151534/