Jessica L. Ryan
Jessica L. Ryan

Afew weeks ago, I wrote about how what makes a nerd a nerd is that they are really, really passionate about something.

Sometimes nerds of all kinds struggle to find people who have similar passions to them -- especially at places like CU, where the student population is huge and everyone seems to have already found a group to join.

It's like finding a nerd in a haystack. Or something like that.

Fortunately for those of you who spend most of your time on the computer anyway, there's a little (OK, not so little) thing called Tumblr. I've had Tumblr since my freshman year at CU, I know people who've had it for years longer than I have ... and the service just keeps growing.

Often used for blogging, Tumblr also has features aplenty that are useful in finding other users with similar interests. Through various crazy random happenstances I've actually made some IRL friends through Tumblr, as well as found people who are even more obsessed with Mumford & Sons than I am.

The most basic of these functions, like on pretty much every other social network, is the ability to follow other users. Some people make a huge deal out of followers, putting quantity over quality and running "promos" where they will follow back anyone who follows them. I take a more qualitative approach, following people who post about stuff I like or who I think are funny.


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A huge community-building (and fandom-fueling) feature of Tumblr is the ability to "reblog" posts. This is similar to repinning on Pinterest or retweeting on Twitter. Reblogging allows people to share posts with their followers -- some posts can get millions of notes, which are either likes or reblogs. People have conversations or debates via reblogs, share variations of memes, and more.

And while it could use a lot of improvement (and I mean a LOT) the best feature I've found for finding fellow fangirls and fanboys (is "fangirl" even a word?) is the search feature. Tumblr's search uses tags to aggregate original posts tagged with a keyword or phrase. While it only shows the original poster, and not any reblogs that may have used that tag, it's a good place to get started on finding posts or people with the same interests as you.

If you're looking to be part of a fandom, start by checking out the scene on Tumblr. The Sherlock and Supernatural fandoms kind of dominate most people's blogs, but you can find people interested in pretty much anything ... including our lovely city.

Get Tumblin', nerds. Your fandom awaits.

Jessica Ryan is a senior media studies major at CU. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan.