How do I make Tumblr work for me again?
January 15, 2013 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Recent changes in Tumblr's layout have made it unusable for me. What do I do?

I don't have a Tumblr of my own, nor do I want one - I do regular searches for certain items because certain fandoms that I follow are more active on Tumblr than elsewhere.

It used to be that Tumblr searches appeared in a long single column ordered by date. Gifs and pictures appeared in thumbnail versions that you clicked on to see the larger version, or a set of photos would appear in front of a dimmed page for you to cycle through. Then about a month ago, it started to permanently look like this. Text and pictures alike are cropped badly and show up either too big or too small, gifs and videos don't load correctly, and everything requires you to click on it to actually see it in its real size, and it regularly freezes or doesn't load correctly when one does. What's more, I don't know how searches happen anymore, but they are not in any kind of order that I understand, and posts that should show up in them (because they used to) no longer do, though ostensibly everything is still tagged as it was a month ago. Searches also don't show nearly what they used to in terms of history - you just get a "sorry! No more posts!" notice. It all seems rather arbitrary. I hate it.

Originally I had been communicating with Tumblr customer service about this, though they claim that add-ons and extensions are to blame, and I must show proof of the behavior in a clean version of Firefox, but the prospect of having to uninstall everything had made me not pursue it any further. I have many extensions and add-ons in my usual Firefox (kept up to date and abreast of all plug-in issues). I have tried using Tumblr in Chrome (with far fewer but still some extensions) and in IE (with no extensions or add-ons at all) and I see the same thing.

I would readily embrace being able to do searches in some other way, but I can only get RSS feeds of single Tumblrs, not of searches. if there was an application that would allow me to do this without looking at Tumblr, I would embrace it.

I've talked a little to Tumblr users online who claim that this is now the default view for people not logged into Tumblr. Are my only options here to either get a Tumblr of my own or live with it?

Thank you in advance.
posted by koucha to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would like to know the answer as well! The new layout makes it harder to search for ani gifs/embedded videos, and causes a huge page load lag in general. Hopefully someone will come up with an applicable response to your post.
posted by matrushka at 8:53 PM on January 15, 2013

Are my only options here to either get a Tumblr of my own or live with it?

As far as I have been able to figure out, yes.
posted by elizardbits at 8:54 PM on January 15, 2013

I logged out and tested with Chrome, and the site works fine. I'm not using any extensions at the moment except for AdBlock.

Tumblr does not really have much in the way of customizability except for blog layouts. I know you don't want to create an account, but it seems like your only option - and will pretty much do what you want otherwise, i.e. give you back a single-column layout and a search that works. At least until the geniuses behind the site's design decide to break that, too.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:00 PM on January 15, 2013

Tumblr search is absolutely awful. It's useless, and I have a Tumblr account. These Tumblr search alternatives might work, though.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:03 PM on January 15, 2013

I must show proof of the behavior in a clean version of Firefox, but the prospect of having to uninstall everything had made me not pursue it any further.
Grab a copy of Portable Firefox. It'll install to a directory, separate from your existing one, and doesn't change anything about your system. When you're done, just delete the directory.
posted by Su at 12:58 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

You may do well just to use Google's inurl fuction. So, if you're searching for kitten gifs, you'd type "kitten kittens gif animated" and then use the image source thinger to browse.

That said, tumblr sign up is not such a stretch and there are plenty of users out there who purely use the log in to access the user's search functions, tags and whatnot. Not to mention that you can then reblog the stuff you like so you have a log of it. You can set the privacy on a tumblr to "private" and no-one else will be able to see it.
posted by Jilder at 4:12 AM on January 16, 2013

Thank you so much for asking this question! I had some fandom search pages bookmarked just like you, and threw up my hands and deleted them all once the change was made and I got nowhere with Tumblr support. Nobody ever told me that I could get the old search format back if I just created an account. Done! I probably will never use it to blog, but having my search pages back is definitely worth the minute or two it took to create it.
posted by christie at 10:46 AM on January 16, 2013

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