Tumblr — our very first Cute Startup Alert![Editor's note: You probably didn't read Sassy magazine's Cute Band Alert back in the '90s. But that girl in your campus lab, the one who made her own zines and wore slips as outerwear? She did. In homage, we give you Cute Startup Alert!] Tumblr is at the apex of blog cute right now. We blame founder David Karp and his short pants. There's something indierock about the way Karp avoided Silicon Valley to found his company in Manhattan and stock it with Williamsburg residents.You won't find Tumblr in your sysadmin's RSS feeds. Tumblr bloggers follow one another on the site's internal Dashboard system. By design, the site limits bloggers to a few formats, gracefully styling their most self-aggrandizing prose into tasty niblets. It's like the beauty of a three-chord postpunk love song packaged as a middle-school love note: "Do you want to / Follow me? / Yes/No" New York's chattering classes — the new old media kids, the new new media kids, and the even newer kids who want to be the new new kids — have gleefully hopped aboard Tumblr. Karp's ladylove, CNET reporter Caroline McCarthy, is there. So are a raft of current and former Gawker editors and their hangers-on, drunklinking one another late into the night, thanks to Tumblr's one-click reblogging tool. "In one particular social circle," Karp explained recently, "we've collected a lot of New York users. It's a clique like any other where you'll see a lot of negativity." True, and what cuddly, darling negativity it is. (Photo by Rex Sorgatz)