Amidst hundreds of thousands of images on Imgur, a few writers have found their niche creating long-form posts, covering everything from recipes, personal stories, and educational interest pieces. This Imgurian firmly falls into the latter, with their monstrously detailed posts covering politics, history, art, science, folklore, and much more. Meet thefeckamisigningupwithfacebook, also known as Saul, Imgur’s premier source for long, beautifully detailed, posts.
“I do long-form writing. I suppose you could say it’s long-form journalism.” Saul started out by explaining to us, “I don’t exclusively write about current affairs; I mix it up with economic history, art, science, amazing tales of adventure too.”
“I’ve always felt Imgur was the kind of place where the community decides what the site is about, and as such, I have been very lucky that many users seem to like what I write and now I think long-form writing has a home here. I like to think I helped with that a little.”
First joining Imgur five years ago, Saul took a literal approach to the sacred rite of passage of picking a username, “About six years ago, I kept finding these awesome memes and jokes all coming from the same website. So, I joined to keep track of it. The first question asked when I went to create an account? ‘Would you like to sign up with Facebook?’ and well… the username was my answer to that question.”
First kicking off their long-form writing three years ago, Saul was on the hunt for new ways to contribute to the Imgur community, spurred on by the vast creativity of his fellow Imgurians, but struggling to find a niche of their own — “It was down to my own weaknesses in other areas. I wasn’t an artist, had no skill at making memes and the process of GIF creation is like magic to me,” Saul explained, paying particular reference to the IronGIF competition, “I didn’t actually know how to contribute to Imgur, which is probably why I spent so long just lurking and making occasional comments.”
“It was only after all that time I said to myself ‘well, I can kinda write’ so decided to write about things I felt people would be interested in. People have seemed to enjoy my stuff and I’ve been going ever since!”
Despite claiming to lack creativity, Saul has become an incredibly influential source for a whole host of topics, only as diverse as they are long. Covering a dazzling array of topics, we were curious how Saul chose, researched, and wrote his posts, “I started out doing pure history posts, and history is behind all I do really. Yet all history, basically, is just current affairs plus time, so moving into modern stuff was easy as it was just me writing about things that had a historical context.”
“I try to mix it up a little deliberately because my own brain makes me curious about the world and I find it hard to stay talking about just one thing.” He continued, “It helps that I genuinely do want to know what is happening in India, or Uganda, or what social media is talking about in Chile or Mongolia. This means I run into not just interesting stories, but begin to see things from differing points of view. The world is a big and fascinating place and it’s my own enthusiasm for it that drives me most of the time.”
Best known for his ‘Imgur Guide’ series, Saul does his best to distill the tidal wave of public and media information into an easy to digest format, as he makes sense of the situation himself, “All I do is share my thoughts with Imgurians and encourage them to read the same things I’m reading, and see if I am right in what I say or not. It’s all based on me just trying to make sense of the world.” Bringing complex geopolitical affairs into a centralized format helps make sense of a topic for Saul, and in doing so, for other Imgurians as well when confronted with a vast amount of information from many sources.
Not content with epic screeds on current affairs and geopolitics, Saul also takes the time to delve deep into the worlds of science and history, drawing on his own background and passions for the topics to open up a world of insight into astrobiology, cosmology, and thousands of years of human, and pre-human, history. “The science stuff comes from my own background- once I studied science because at heart, I am a huge nerd with deep-seated dreams about space. All my science posts then are attempts to share my enthusiasm about space and space-related study, with Imgur, I noticed people loved that stuff, so I felt I had a community I could share my enthusiasm with!”
Tackling the long-format on Imgur, Saul was surprised and delighted by the Community’s response, finding brand new insight from his readers; “A few weeks ago I did a post about Mars Exploration and Space X and the Artemis Project and all that awesome cool stuff. Within a few hours of posting it, I was having chats with one user who worked for JPL, two NASA employees working on Artemis and someone who worked for SpaceX. How cool is that? My inner geek was in a happy place that night!”
More than that, it’s not just because Imgurians are on the whole very positive and kind, but because Imgur has a global audience and you end up having amazing responses.” He went on to explain, “Sometimes these are lighthearted; so when I did a post on the discovery of oil in Guyana and the impact that would have on the country, suddenly it seemed that every Guyanese user of Imgur appeared, saying hello and being very happy their little country was being featured in a big post.”
We were curious how Saul planned, researched, and wrote his epic posts, “No one will believe this next statement, but I never EVER intend to write a long post. I want to write a nice short post that’s easy to read, explains a situation quickly, maybe with a couple of pictures and boom. It’s done. The problem? Life is complicated. So when you are writing about a war in Africa, or why China is doing whatever China is doing, or why have we not put someone on Mars yet, it’s not always possible to explain in a quick and easy way. At least not for me.”
Lastly, we wanted to know who’s, besides his own, posts he enjoyed the most, and which Imgurians inspired him to keep creating, “So many I can’t even begin to pick. There are a bunch of long-form writers out there who I think are way more talented than I will ever be, and whose work is amazing. @Ngugi with his awe-inspiring Tolkien posts comes to mind and @escudonbk with jaw-dropping prose, elevating boxing into pure art. @BodicaRexVII and @HolyOldMckinaw and @aspecthistory with their brilliant history posts also.
But I adore the comedy posters, the meme creators, the gif makers, the amazing community of artists and comic book artists; I honestly do like finding wallpaper dumps, pictures of cats, and borderline ‘what is that’ posts from @ElbowDeepInAHorse.”
If you’d like to see more from thefeckamisigningupwithfacebook, made sure and check out their profile, and give them a follow!