Tools are only as good as our reasons and methods for using them

Yahoo! has acquired Tumblr (the blogging platform used to power Creative Something, and the platform more than 60,000 of you use to read this blog daily).

If you’re using Tumblr to blog than this news is either exciting or terrifying.

When a new company buys such a large tool there are (more often than not) changes that alter how we use it, how it grows, and undoubtedly how it functions as a whole.

But for those of us who are serious about what we’re doing (whether it’s blogging about new ways of seeing art, or turning tweets into comics, or even simply posting animated gifs of cats every weekend), the tool doesn’t matter as much as the work itself.

If the tool you’re using breaks, you find another tool. The tool itself isn’t what makes your work worthwhile, and it certainly doesn’t make it important or entertaining.

You could do the same thing you do with a pen and a fancy moleskin notebook with just a broken pencil and a napkin.

The difference in value isn’t with the tools you’re using, it’s with the reason you’re doing it and the methods you’re using.

To quote one of my favorite writers and creative thinkers, Merlin Mann, from the his article Because buying new running shoes is more fun than actually running

“Ultimately, the tools that we choose for any purpose will only be as useful as our ability to use them effectively and to understand what their improved quality means to the way we approach our work (as well as the challenges that led us to seek out these new tools). You can buy a successively more costly and high-quality series of claw hammers until you’ve reached the top of the line, but until you learn how to use them skillfully, you’re going to keep making ugly bird houses.”

Photo by Marcin Wichary.