1043: Ablogalypse

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Plus the reaction in the Tumblverse is always 'repeatedly get hit by a dog and fall down the stairs'.
Title text: Plus the reaction in the Tumblverse is always 'repeatedly get hit by a dog and fall down the stairs'.


This comic plays with the Google trends for the terms "blog", "tumblr", "wordpress", and "livejournal".

  • Blog: a website with opinions and comments
  • Tumblr: a "micro-blogging" site, which has taken off due to the prevalence of animated gifs and funny photos.
  • WordPress: a type of blog software, and a blog-hosting website running on said software.
  • LiveJournal: a sort of personal blog site that hasn't been very popular since 2004-2005. Randall published his first comics there.

As you can see in the caption and then the title text, there is no way that newscasters will reference the "Tumblverse" because all the reactions will be filled with animated gifs of a person in a raptor suit falling over or a dog answering a phone.

This actually came to pass, with the change over occurring between October 30, 2012, and January 10, 2013, as can be seen using the link above. Since the end of 2013 both terms have been in steady decline, though "tumblr" has fallen more quickly. Consequently, since January 29, 2019, "tumblr" has returned to being less searched than "blog". However, the blogosphere in general is rarely reported upon anymore, largely replaced by social media built around microblogging like Twitter, as well as online video on Youtube.


[A line graph with four lines, each representing 'Google Trends Search Volume' of different search terms over time from prior to 2005 to just after 2012. A blue line represents "blog," which trends gradually but significantly upwards from well before 2005 until it reaches a peak between 2008-2009, and starts to very slowly descend to today. A red line represents "Tumblr", which is at zero until it slowly starts to trend upward in early 2010, and then sharply increases in late 2010 and through 2011 and 2012. As of the date of this comic, 'blog' still beats 'Tumblr' in terms of search volume, but a dotted line projection of the trend shows that on October 12, 2012, the two lines will cross. A yellow line represents 'Wordpress,' which has very low volume until a very small and gradual increase in 2007, which gradually increases to this day but doesn't come close to meeting the volume of either 'blog' or 'Tumblr'. A green line represents 'LiveJournal,' which started out prior to 2005 at around the level 'Wordpress' is at now, but declined through 2005 and 2006 until it has plateaued until virtually nothing.]
[Caption below the graph:]
In about six months, the word "Tumblr" will eclipse "blog" in Google popularity.
I doubt TV anchors will start talking about "reactions in the Tumblverse," but then again, I still can't believe we got them to say "blogosphere."

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Actually, the august 18 date was premature; blog beat tumblr over the rest of august and so they didn't cross in August. Revised data showed that the crossing actually occurred for the first time in november 2012. 22:32, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

I updated it. Randall's guess was only a month off. -- 17:41, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Guys this is sad: http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=xkcd&cmpt=q&tz= (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

the history for "explain xkcd" peaks at "time" and "lorenz" 23:02, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
This one's sadder. All of them are in decline.

XKCD seems to be accurate: https://trends.google.fr/trends/explore?date=all&q=blog,tumblr,wordpress,livejournal (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Guys, check again, we are entering the penumbra, the sun will shine again on the blogospheroid.
  • is it worth noting that blog is winning? -- 19:21, 14 October 2019 (UTC)


  • For some definition of winning, both are far down from their glory days of 2009 and 2013 respectively. I do like how their totals over the full history are quite similar.
  • In Janurary 2021 "medium" overtook "tumblr".