Scanning Tumblr, looking for the brands you use



Tumblr is an immense sea of valuable, publicly available user data just waiting to be tapped by marketers interested in how the cool internet teens use their products—just search “Starbucks” to see what I mean.

Tumblr, it seems, is also ready to help corporations cash in on its users’ impeccably curated tastes. It just inked a deal with Ditto, a company that scans images on the web for branded products and sells the results to multinationals like Coca-Cola and Kraft, and part of the deal involves giving Ditto wholesale access to all of Tumblr’s (which is to say Tumblr users’) photos.

"Twitter and Instagram have been suppliers of data to us for over a year and we’re able to look on behalf of brands at what the conversation about them looks like through photos," David Rose, CEO of Ditto, told Motherboard. “What’s different about Tumblr is that they’re supplying us with the entire firehose of all photos that we’re then able to interpret.”

Ditto’s algorithm identifies products that it’s been trained to recognize via a machine learning process, as well as indicators of users’ feelings towards the brand like a smile or a frown. By picking out the brands or goods said product is paired with in a given image, Ditto builds maps of product affiliations.

"We look at every photo, and we look for about 2,500 things in every photo," Rosin explained. "We’re primarily doing a pattern-matching algorithm that is matching brands and products that we have taught the system about. We’re looking for the presences of faces, and the expressions of faces, but not for individual people."

Though the system doesn’t necessarily identify individuals in their corporeal form, it can pinpoint the top influencers on a given social network and give their online identities to companies looking to partner with their biggest fans in promotional campaigns.

To get a sense of how the system works in real-time, you can view a live stream of images sourced from the web being scanned for brands on Ditto’s website. As images fly across the screen, the algorithm singles out any brand logos and human faces. The images are paired with information like the user’s handle and click through to their personal accounts….

The Major’s Vision

Forgot about this scene until recently.

v. important tune

I was lying in bed the other night and the thought that I didn’t have any desires or aspirations of my own came to me. But then after examining it more I realized that couldn’t possibly be true. I got up and wrote out a list of things that I truly want; not things I have been told to want but ambitions that seem to have emerged genuinely from within. I made a list of about a dozen things; it wasn’t a complete inventory but it’s surprising to me how straight forward they seemed on paper. So why am I not actively working towards actualizing them? Good question. Even though it is my first reflex, I refuse to berate myself over that shortcoming. I’m not going to post the list it is a little too intimate for this platform. I am however going to more consciously inform my actions by this list and see where that takes me. At the same time part of me realizes that fulfillment will not ultimately come this way but I still have to act in this world so I may as well act with intention.


Untitled C1 - Kassem Mosse


Shawn Kemp — Seattle SuperSonics


Shawn Kemp — Seattle SuperSonics

Take Your Body - Perc

[seizure warning]


Animal Collective - For Reverend Green

One window is not enough for my vanity

One window is not enough for my vanity