A Tumblr accessibility trick I wish someone had told me about sooner

An old screenshot of a tumblr argument showing a long list of usernames with vertical lines beneath them.

An old screenshot of a tumblr argument that visually represents why tumblr’s design is the worst. Who can follow this kind of conversation?

I hate Tumblr. I’m sure that many of you who have been reading my blog for a long time already know this. I think the site is designed in such a way that it creates confusion and friction rather than facilitating good discussions.

To the right, you can see an example of exactly why the site’s design is so awful. This is an old screenshot from 2015 that I found on my computer again recently. I made this image and shared it with a few people privately, but I didn’t post it anywhere because I didn’t want anyone to feel like I was picking on them or talking about whatever the actual content of the discussion underneath these usernames was, which I no longer remember at all. It isn’t important. But notice how it looks. It doesn’t look like a conversation, it looks like a labeled bar graph. In order to really follow this conversation, to know who exactly is saying what, you’d have to scroll up and down with your mouse on each of the lines to match up the username with the text. And trust me, it was a veeeery loooooong  conversation, with each post being pretty substantive, so that was a lot of scrolling.

That isn’t the only problem, of course. With conversations decentralized, it’s difficult to even see other parts of the same conversation topic going on, so you have to click through a lot of notes—sometimes many thousands, most of which are just likes and reblogs—in order to actually see the full range of responses that a post spawned. I don’t have an answer for that problem, other than to wish that a better site would come along that could actually compete with tumblr, and spark a mass migration to the new platform instead. It will happen eventually, I’m sure. It’s happened many times before. (Hardly anybody still uses MySpace or LiveJournal, and AIM is about to be shut down for lack of use too.) It will take someone coming up with something better, and then lots of time and dissatisfied users. Until then, I’m going to be stuck reading a lot of things posted on tumblr, because such a huge portion of the asexual community resides there.

So for now, I’m just going to share a little trick that I eventually learned to help manage reading these blogs as someone who has vision problems.

Continue reading

Quick RFAS update on technical issues

Yesterday the RFAS email server apparently got messed up after an automated system recovery reboot. Users were unable to log in through web clients. There was also a Cloudflare DNS error that made two of the three clients not even load. Both of those issues should be fixed now. I posted more details about what was going on on the forum.

Another issue that’s going on is our server’s spam filter—I noticed several legit emails were going to my spam folder, mostly invite request forms. So if you never received an invite code, please check in with us or send a new invite request. I sent out invites for the requests that I found languishing in the spam folder this morning, so if you requested one a while ago, you may have one in your inbox now. Sorry for the delay!

If you’re on our team, I’d like you to try logging in to a web mail client, and check your spam folder. If you find anything legit in there, help us train the filter (instructions are in the same thread).

Our forum also has some minor technical glitches that need to be addressed still, but most of them will likely be addressed in the next major software release, so I’m waiting for that. However, I thought I’d put it out there that we’re looking for someone who can make plugins and/or a custom theme for us. You’d need to be familiar with php, javascript, MVC frameworks, and CSS.

So expect more changes ahead, and a bit of a bumpy road as we grapple with technical problems—hopefully not too bumpy! Thank you all for your patience.

App and blog recommendations, please!

All right, so I still have a lot of stuff to set up around here. I’m working on getting widgets set up, and then I’m going to be creating a content use and comment policy, as well as reworking some of my older pages. I’ve set up a new twitter account to go with the blog, you can follow it @prismatangle. There is nothing there yet, other than that you can see my newly chosen full pseudonym. I’ll be going by Elizabeth Leuw instead of just Elizabeth from now on.

You’ll notice my blogroll has been missing from the sidebar since I changed the layout, and that’s because it really, REALLY needs updating. A lot of the old blogs I used to list have since moved, and there are a bunch of new ones that I haven’t even discovered yet, or maybe read a link from one time and then kind of forgot where they were.

My biggest issue? I’m trying to read on my iPad, and not at the computer, but the app I’m using freezes when I try to add any new blogs to it. It’s incredibly frustrating. Plus it only displays a certain number of posts, and any posts older than that it just won’t display, period. So there’s a lot of stuff I’ve missed and continue to miss if there’s more activity than the app can display.

The one I’m using right now is Feedly, just because I had already migrated my old Google Reader blog list onto it when Google Reader stopped being supported. It works sort of okay, for the older blogs that have kept going since then. But other than that, not really. I’d really like one that I can add new blogs to without having to go on the computer every time I want to follow something new.

So, what iPad-compatible blog readers do you all use? And also, how is the native WordPress blog reader? I haven’t used it before, is it worth using?

And, are there any blogs I should check out and add to my list? Feel free to self-promote, especially if your blog is fairly new!

I’ll also open this thread to any more general app recommendations. If you have an iPad, what are your favorite apps?