Fuck yeah, Tumblr!

One of my biggest complaints about social/media and women’s soccer is the lack of significant or varying content. If a twitter account is basically a website’s RSS feed, why should I follow it? If a blog is essentially saying “This is what I heard the commentators say” or “This is what I read in the mainstream narrative,” then that isn’t something I’m going to waste time on. As a grad student, I have spent enough time reading things I’m not interested in and listening to people namedrop instead of generating new ideas and opinions of their own.

On the other hand, since I started grad school during an odd semester and couldn’t take the usual introductory courses, listening to people namedrop and regurgitate others’ ideas helped me settle into the ongoing conversation. It made me semi-competent with the basic theories without having read the primary sources. So this was helpful in that manner, and it does say something about an individual if they are constantly referencing, say, Friere.

Tumblr is a lot like my grad school experience. We do readings, share quotes and ideas, make commentary, and generally aren’t “thought leaders.” (We should be, we’re not, and yes it’s problematic.) In some cases, this is helpful. Tumblr seems like an appropriate place to reproduce content that someone else generated. If we had known that US Soccer was going to make its archives impossible to sift through or completely remove old content related to the women’s programs, Tumblr probably would have been the perfect place for fans to create their own archives.

When I started using Tumblr, aggregating and archiving is what I had in mind, due to that exact situation with US Soccer’s removal of content. Since the new U-20 cycle had just started and US Soccer had completely neglected their winning team in 2008, I focused on content related to the run towards the 2010 U-20 World Cup. There isn’t much opportunity to reblog other content, and this approach would have worked better in 2008–but somewhere down the line, having public backups of this women’s soccer content might be helpful. For instance, I might want to reference the China-Australia brawl in the AFC qualifiers. You can keep having conniptions over Lambert, but she’s really not unique in anything but catching ESPN’s attention.

From a less “academic” angle and more just fannish consternation, I’ve found it interesting that the WPS doesn’t seem to have made much use of tumblr. The league and its fans are everywhere else, and there clearly isn’t any hesitation to reproduce content. Why so little love for tumblr? Why didn’t any of the teams have Fuck Yeah tumblogs until this season? What is there to lose by using another free platform? Why don’t fans defend their turf by following, submitting, reblogging, and liking?

Right now, I know of two FY tumblogs for teams:

How funny is it that the teams in the basement get the most love? Sky Blue FC hasn’t updated since the draft. I could have sworn there was another SBFC tumblog, but what good is it if I can’t find it again? (Maybe it’s the searchability that’s keeping the WPS from Tumblr.) Who wants to bet that Megan Rapinoe gets a FY tumblog before Natasha Kai or Hope Solo?

Away from WPS, there is also a Fuck Yeah, Women’s Football and the newly created PSU Women’s Soccer, which is off to a promising start. I figure there have to be more women’s soccer/WPS-centric tumblogs out there, though, and someone has to be really eager for another couple of followers reblogging and liking their posts. If I have to sift through men’s soccer, I’m not interested.

Let me know who or what I’m missing. If there are any other NCAA women’s soccer teams represented on Tumblr–excluding Utah right now–I would really like to know. If the W-League’s Pali Blues are on Tumblr, then someone is doing the world a disservice by not advertising.

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