New research on Tumblr

In spite of being such a popular (and fascinating!) social media platform, not much academic research has been published about Tumblr.   A recent study suggests that this may be due to some of the following constraints:

“Severe research limitations are caused by the lack of demographic, geo-spatial, and temporal metadata attached to individual posts, the limited API, restricted access to data, and the large amounts of ephemeral posts on the site”

While these are limitations for carrying out certain types of research, they do not pose problems for the textual analysis of linguistic creativity and humor that I’ve been working on recently.  In fact, a former graduate student and I have just published a paper about popular “Chat” posts on Tumblr. Our article is available at Discourse, Context & Media:  In it, we illustrate  some of the discourse strategies that Tumblr content creators exploit in order to construct playful and humorous texts.

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