Petty Revenge Stories

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

I am thinking of launching yet another blog service, so I am studying existing blog services.

I am curious how certain Tumblr blogs manage to attract enough of an audience that they get a steady stream of submissions. Petty Revenge Stories, for instance. How did this get famous enough that now it gets a steady supply of submissions.

As near as I can tell, the owner of Petty Revenge Stories never speaks. They do not offer a performance of their own. Instead, they always post other people’s stories:

When I was 15, my parents split up. My dad was already living an hours commute by car away from his work, so me and my brother stayed at our moms while our dad moved considerably closer to his work. And, a mere year later, a new guy and his daughter who was two years younger than me moved in. And guess what – she was a real b*tch. She would never clean, she always expected someone to clean up after her, we had limited amount of warm water in the shower, but she would use it all up, forcing the next person to either take a really cold shower or wait an hour until there were enough to take a quick shower. She was also constantly rude to everyone, if my mom had made something she didn’t like for dinner she would loudly complain, yell and generally just be a b*tch. Like she always was.

I have an easier time understanding how a blog might build an audience if the owner of the blog puts themselves out in some way, by offering an opinion, advice, advocating for a cause, ranting, or in some way offering a performance of their own. As a point of contrast, consider Roxy of FemmeLesbian who offers relationship advice:

Anonymous said : Me and my girlfriend… Ex girlfriend just broke up because of distance. She lives in Florida and I live in Michigan and when she told me it was over she also told me to get a rebound as she will do too but I think its messed up but should I or not ?

Okay, well, I think it’s messed up for her to tell you what to do during a break up but on the whole I don’t think rebounds are messed up to an extent.

For some people that’s how they move on, that’s just their coping strategy, and as long as the other person is aware they just got out of a relationship and aren’t looking for anything serious, it can be a good thing to do.

But it’s not for everybody. Personally I’m not the rebound type at all. I like to be on my own for a while and seeing someone new tends to just lead me to compare them and my ex which is rarely a good thing.

Whether you should or not, that’s entirely your call. If you think a rebound will be good for you, which you don’t seem to, that’s fine. But if you think rebounds are messed up and you don’t want to do it, clearly you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t do something just because she told you to.

So people ask questions, and the owner of the blog offers answers. That is a model that I get. It makes sense. One can easily understand how it works.

But Petty Revenge Stories is the more interesting case exactly because I don’t understand how to start something like that. I am curious if there is an algorithm that might better surface material, such that audience might more quickly be built up around a few sites such as Petty Revenge Stories? Because it seems obvious that the owner of such a blog service benefits from having such popular niche sites.

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