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This page covers:

  • how to create and format Fanlore pages about Tumblr
  • how to use Tumblr in your Fanlore research

WIP: We're working on this admin article!

Tumblr Pages on Fanlore

You can create a page about

  • a Tumblr account
  • a Tumblr post
  • a Tumblr meme
  • other fannish Tumblr stuff we haven't dreamed of yet

Tumblr account

If you want to create a Fanlore page for an individual tumblr account, such as Fanfic Flamingo, use Template:Tumblr.

Tumblr post/discussion

A fannish Tumblr post became so popular/infamous that you want to document it on Fanlore...

Tumblr posts that are meta essays are particularly prone to turning into a long conversation through reblogs and replies. Sometimes the original post might just be an image, and the meta took off in one of the reblogs. Either way, these can be documented on Fanlore using the Template:MetaEssay. An example Tumblr meta article is The three generations of fanfic.

A Tumblr post that spawned a meme should be created as a meme page (see below).

A Tumblr post that is a piece of fanart, a gifset, etc. should be created as a fanart page. See Help:Fanart.

Someone posted a fic to tumblr or reblogged someone else's post and wrote fic. If the fic is the main focus, use Template:Fanfiction.

Same with fanvids, AMVs, etc. Use Template:Vid, Template:AMV. Template:Fanwork if there isn't a specific template available for the type of fanwork. See also Help:Fanworks

If it's a giant wank, flame war, ship war, etc., consider Template:EventProfile.

You may also want to incorporate the fannish tumblr thing into a glossary, shipping, fandom, or larger discussion page. Examples include Goodreads and The Johnlock Conspiracy.

How to name a page

Many tumblr posts are untitled. If you want to make a Fanlore page for a tumblr post, you need to name it something. For meta posts, consider using the first line of the tumblr post as your Fanlore page name. Alternatively, something like "Untitled Tumblr Post by So-and-So". Be sure to include a note that the original post was untitled.

Tumblr meme

Fanlore documents individual fannish memes regardless of what platform they originated from. Check out Category:Memes for examples. These pages use Template:Meme.

Using Tumblr

A helpful guide for Fanlore editors who don't know all the tricks for how to use Tumblr (i.e. all of us)

First, check out Tumblr#Common_Tumblr_Terms. Tumblr#Etiquette may also help you decipher mysterious conversations or arguments.

Second, the usability of Tumblr is seriously impacted by whether or not you are logged in and the style each user selected for their blog, not to mention Tumblr's periodic site redesigns. Sometimes the easiest way to navigate is just to type in the URL directly instead of hunting for buttons that may be hidden.

Blog style variation

Different blog styles can interfere with your ability to see all the post metadata (notes, tags, date posted, who it was reblogged from, and/or the original post) or even read the post at all.

  • Add /mobile to the URL of an individual post to see a basic black-on-white view for maximum readability.
  • Sometimes you open a blog and can't see or navigate to individual posts at all. Try adding /archive to the blog URL see a calendar-type view of all posts. The /archive view shows a small image preview, tags, date posted, number of notes, and how long the blog as a whole has been active.
  • install a third-party plugin like xkit--some of these can be configured to display more metadata(?)
  • Like the post and then view it on your likes page.
    • Hover over the top righthand corner of the post to see a popup with the date posted.
    • If you are looking at the Original Post, the user name appears on the upper lefthand corner of the post. If you are looking at a reblog, the user name will have arrows next to it, followed by the name of the user the post was reblogged from. If the name of the second user is "this", then that post has been deleted.
    • You can follow a reblog back to the original by clicking on each second username, then going to the page and "liking" that post, then refreshing your likes page, etc. etc.

Viewing notes

  • From the URL of a tumblr post, depending on blog style, tumblr defaults to displaying the most recent 50 notes on the post. (Notes do not display in the /mobile view.) If the post has more than 50 notes, there is usually a toggle you can click to show the next 50. Any reblog with text added can be clicked on to see that particular reblog. You cannot navigate to likes or reblogs with no text.
  • From your dashboard or likes page, if you have xkit, you can click on the notes and scroll endlessly and click to navigate to any reblog.

Post deletion/blog renaming problems

  • A lot of tumblr users change their blog names frequently, which can break inbound links from other websites. Before assuming the post has been deleted, google the url of the post minus the user name to see if the post is google-indexed. You may also find a reblog you can link to instead.
  • For image posts, consider including a direct link to the image itself; if the original post is deleted, the image remains on tumblr's servers, along with all the reblogs. Please note that the URLs of images are not stable long-term.
  • Consider submitting all tumblr posts you link to on Fanlore to the Wayback Machine to prevent link rot
  • If the original post has been deleted, you can still estimate the date of the post.
    • Go to the Labs section from your dashboard and click Enable Tumblr Labs
    • Enable "Reblog Graphs".
    • Open the reblog you have in your likes or the dashboard view and click on the reblog graphs icon at the bottom of the post
    • click on several of the reblogs closest to the center of the graph and open the url to check the date of the reblogs

Tags vs. search

You can navigate using the tags on posts, but different tumblr users tag differently, some use obscure tags specifically to avoid having their posts get noticed, and some don't tag their posts at all.


When you are logged in, type in your browser's address bar TAG to see posts on the site in reverse chronological order tagged with a given tag. Note that only the original posts and not reblogs will show up, so if the OP wasn't tagged, you're out of luck. Also, only the first five tags on a post are site-indexed.

Logged in or no, you can always search Tumblr. This is helpful if you're not sure how people have tagged the thing you're looking for: THING

Single blog

Logged in or no, you can always click on a tag in someone's blog to see everything on their blog with that tag. For blogs that do not display tags, you can still enter the tag into the URL: TAG. There may be more than one "page" worth of posts with that tag; add /page/2, etc. to the URL to skip back. It's not always clear from the blog style whether there are more pages.

You can search an individual blog if that blog has not checked the "hide from search results" box (?). Type in the URL THING

Finding Older Posts

If you want to look at what Tumblr users were posting in a given time frame: