Dec. 6, 2010 at 12:48 PM ET
UPDATED 8:26pm ET: Tumblr network is back online.
Countless blog-to-book deals languish in Internet purgatory while Tumblr attends to the technical difficulties that crashed the free blogging platform on Sunday.
"Some scheduled maintenance yesterday that wasn’t intended to interrupt service went haywire and wound up taking down a critical database cluster," founder David Karp wrote in a Monday update posted on TechCrunch. "Rebuilding the entire cluster has been a painfully slow and manual process, but we’re almost through. We’ll be posting a recap when we’re back up."
Following its 2007 launch, Tumblr quickly grew as the go-to point for single service blogs (often with NSFW titles) such as "Look at this F---ing Hipster," "STFU, Parents," "Animals with Casts," countless "F--- Yeah" Tumblogs, and a collection point for the latest celebrity photo memes including "Selleck Waterfall Sandwich," "Jumping Rob Pattinson," etc. (Note: While Tumblr's down, I've linked to posts about these blogs, so you know what I'm talking about.)
Yes, there are Tumblr blogs that emphasize more intellectual breadth and depth than finding reasons for Sad Don Draper to be sad. But if a lot more work gets done today, inability to access the infinitely entertaining Tumblr blogs is why.
No doubt, those high-concept comedy outlets also played a part in pushing Tumblr to critical mass earlier this year. "Tumblr served up 1.2 billion page views in the U.S. in October, up a mind-boggling 1,540 percent from the year before," TechCrunch reported. "Unique visitors from the U.S. hit 6 million, up 150 percent. Worldwide visitors in September were around 14 million."
Just like there's more to Tumblr than single-service blogs, there are other reasons the simple blogging platform has started to take off roughly three years after its launch. Tumblr board member Bijan Sabet credits Web improvements, the site's mobile app and founder David Karp's "obsession." It's "100 percent organic," Sabet told TechCrunch.
This success is great news for the blogging platform, which "is raising a ton of money," TechCrunch reports. "We’re hearing tens of millions of dollars at a $120 million to $150 million pre-money valuation — as they prepare to hire a bunch more people to staff its brand new New York offices."
Alas for now, Tumblr moves into its 17th-odd hour offline and its fan base is forced to freak out about it on that other totally free, and often broken, Web app — Twitter. (Lots of repeated and retweeted "#tumblr y u no work?" but this NSFW tweet, from that guy who plays "Troy" on "Community" is my favorite.)