Tumblr seems like a slower, dumber version of Other Blog Pages (tm). Control of the Dashboard interface is frustrating and seems arbitrary, Most posts can’t be replied to without reblogging the whole thing, and I couldn’t edit OR delete a reply I made just now.
That said, it is remarkably easy here to throw up something distantly similar to what one wants to do.
I, as a Computer Dude from Days Of Yore (i.e. I had access to basic, or rather BASIC, programming resources even back before MS-DOS was considered hot shit) am used to Control. An interface is allowed to be as persnickety and frustrating as it likes, so long as one is actually allowed to alter things to one’s hearts content.
The Ikea/Mac model is supposedly to give the user fewer choices, so long as they are fairly popular choices. That is, allow people to pick three or four popular styles, serving 90% of the population, and everyone else just has to cope. This is decried by some who claim to want more flexibility, and hailed by some who want to shovel more units out the door, but it is not usually ACTUALLY what’s going on.
I have (and love) a Mac. Had a succession of of them, dating back to the early 90’s. People in one or another sector of the holy wars which seem to be a permanent feature of computer culture might think that puts me on the side of Tumblr’s clean but questionably utile interface.
But here’s the thing: Apple’s OSes, dating back to VERY early public access to the mouse, allow the user access to Control if he wants it - if he wants to dig around and scrounge lower level access, it’s there. Apple is good at Getting Out Of The User’s Way, but if the user wants to geek out in the guts of his OS, he can with a little searching find the actual levers of control.
Microsoft, seizing on this supposed lack of control, for years threw up editing options for every object the user interacted with, every chance it got. The sense of control was palpable, if overblown. Don’t get me wrong, a Windows poweruser has always had the ability to tweak to his heart’s content…not usually in the much-publicized editing drop-downs, but in nondescript preferences files scattered willy-nilly around the filetree.
The actual dichotomy is how many controls a beginning user has pointed out to him - more switches being held to be more libertarian though not as user-friendly, and fewer switches being held to be more happy-friendly, though perhaps a tad saccharine.
Tumblr’s approach seems to cleave closer to to the actual ideal of fewer choices, all easily visible. The problem is that I’m almost never in that 90%. I’m a bit OCD perhaps, but I want all the power all the time, and I’m willing to do more tweaking on fewer posts, so long as I’m afforded that Control.
I do very little on LJ anymore, for example, but when I do, even my simpler replies are often link-heavy, or have tweaked graphics… which seem to be very easy to do on Tumblr, so long as one does things Tumblr’s way. Which bugs the CRAP out of me. :/