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Published:March 28th, 2012 10:21 EST
A Brief Look Inside the Imgur Website

A Brief Look Inside the Imgur Website

By Michelle Harven

After many months of submissively being a part of the world of Imgur, I finally joined the site.  A thing that I wasn`t going to do because of the expectations put on an Imgur user.  Imgur is among those websites that have a community of users, a family, so to speak, in which one can witness a sense of belonging.  There are inside jokes and a way to communicate most effectively.  To back up, let me explain exactly what Imgur is.  According to the website, Imgur (pronounced image-er), can be used to share pictures with friends, as well as post images on message boards and blogs. You can manipulate the image a number of ways and automatically submit it to popular sites such as reddit or digg. You can also view popular user-submitted images in the gallery. Best of all, Imgur is completely free. 

Although this is a good summary of what the website is, a horde of images which people comment on (490k a day according to traffic statistics), it does not get behind the soul of the website.  Imgur has a very deep soul.  One can witness this simply by the images that are posted.  One headline: Meet Omari. Two days ago he returned from the hospital after being hacked in the face by a machete defending an orphanage of 35 children by himself. Think we could raise the $2,000 needed.  A picture of a man stares out at us with the deep crudely looking stitches that go from his forehead to the end of his nose.  And he`s smiling.  There is also one picture of a young rape victim holding a sign that says: This is what I was wearing.  Tell me I asked for it.  I dare you. These are the kind of moving pictures that one can come across surrounded amongst the many humorous, beautiful, and awe-inspiring images. 

For the most part the Imgurian community, like the rest of us, are very fond of animal uploads, and most especially, cats.  Among these pictures one can also view a picture of Obama with a light saber, a Facebook post of a schoolteacher verbally owning an ungrateful former student, a baby elephant hugging its keeper, a dog carrying a cat by the scruff of its neck, a very detailed (and hilarious) story of someone taking a public poop, and so on.    

Aside from the amazing eye candy that Imgur provides, the part of Imgur which keeps me coming back (unlike some other Tumblr sites), is the society.  Many of you may be familiar with 4Chan.  The images on Imgur often come from 4Chan and Reddit, but unlike these sites with its many perverse and disturbing aspects, Imgur is kept, how shall I say, respectable?  This is done with a point system.  Not only are the images on the site available for upvotes and downvotes, but so too are the comments.  By doing this, people with the most wit are the comments that are seen first and the people that are downvoted into oblivion, stay there.  This limits, and in fact almost completely banishes arguments about racism, or deep thoughts on Kesha.  No, these things are kept far away and will not be tolerated.  The Imgurians keep their turf clean. 

    It is hard to say if the creators of the site had ever expected such an outcome when designing a site to make image viewing easier.  Some Imgurians state how they have deleted their Facebook page, and Imgur is their home now.  This is the type of extreme devotion some Imgurians have. 

As most Internet communities consist of a certain type of person, there is certain personality traits most commonly attributed to the Imgur community.  Some of these consist of the standard nerd, devoid of friends or significant other, with an affinity for the indoors, and an assumption of male heavy users.  Female-Imgurians tend to feel the need to present themselves as such.

To help some of you out if you decide to join the group I have provided some tips for the amateur Imgur user:
Step 1: You need a username.  Imgurians like when their username is relevant to a picture and will get upvoted if this happens to be the case, but don`t try too hard, in fact make it completely irrelevant to anything that could possibly crop up, and make it long.
Step 2: Begin LOLing at the Gallery pictures and upvoting the ones that you find inspiring.  Similarly, start upvoting the comments that make you wish you were the person who said it.  This is a part of the process.  Downvoting, when abused is a sad tale, so keep the downvotes reserved for something that could really be offensive and dirty up the Imgur community.
Step 3: Begin picking up on the quirks of the group.  The memes, phrases, and logic are easy to pick up on and just make the trip that much enjoyable.  
Step 4: Profit.

Imgur is a place to have boundless entertainment, to lose hours and hours of your time to saying, just one more and then staying on for an hour longer.  I apologize in advance for your loss of productivity.