We Need Diverse Books and Tumblr – Analyzing the Social Networking of a Hashtag

The social networking spaces most associated with We Need Diverse Books (and, as a result, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag) are Twitter and Tumblr. Sites such as Facebook and Google+ have pages for the movement, but they are not very active and not much communication occurs there. Twitter and Tumblr, on the other hand, are hives buzzing with book-loving activity.

Since a great deal has been said already about We Need Diverse Books on Twitter, I chose to dig a bit deeper into the We Need Diverse Books community on Tumblr.

This is what a Tumblr user's dashboard looks like. (Sidenote: Rainbow Rowell is a great author, and her books often contain many diverse characters.)
This is what a Tumblr user’s dashboard looks like. (Sidenote: Rainbow Rowell is a great author, and her books often contain many diverse characters.)

I’ve been using Tumblr for about 3 years, and I’ve noticed that it has some similarities to Twitter. Posters have the ability to “reblog” posts that they like, similarly to the “retweeting” function on Twitter. The major difference in the function and its uses is that reblogging is often one of the only ways that a person can reply to a post. (It is possible to directly reply without reblogging, but this is a function that a user has to enable, and many Tumblr users do not allow direct replies to their posts.) As a result, Tumblr conversations are also much, much longer than conversations on Twitter.

Tumblr is known for being a site whose community is very friendly to people of different races, sexualities, and disabilities. Many, many Tumblr users are also young people, usually in their teens or early twenties, concerned with social justice issues. They are also generally very nerdy, and many of them love to read books (mainly YA). Since there is a considerable overlap on the site between YA audiences and the sort of people who want to see more characters like themselves in books, it doesn’t surprise me that Tumblr has been very conducive to a lengthy discussion of diverse books.

We Need Diverse Books' Tumblr page.
We Need Diverse Books’ Tumblr page.

We Need Diverse Books, Gay YA, and Disability in Kidlit all have Tumblr pages that get many notes (this is reblogs and likes, and sometimes just replies). The conversation on these Tumblrs is often in-depth, and even more often willing to discuss real life issues that affect many “diverse” people.

An example of a post on Disability in Kidlit's Tumblr page.
An example of a post on Disability in Kidlit’s Tumblr page.

From observing the social networking site that discusses it most, I can gather that the #WeNeedDiverseBooks community knows exactly what sort of audience it wants to reach, and how it wants to reach it.

Advertisements
We Need Diverse Books and Tumblr – Analyzing the Social Networking of a Hashtag

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s