Think of it as a scrapbook on the Web. Tumblr allows users to post small tidbits of thought, songs, videos, links and more. While some users have a theme that they stick to, most prefer to post random and miscellaneous bits of information or whatever interests them. Tumblr calls it “the easiest way to blog.” Individual Tumblr blogs are referred to as tumblelogs. Just like Twitter has overtaken Facebook’s updating system, Tumblr is the condensed version of “full-length” blog. Radevvon.com’s author wrote a post called Tumblr: more than a Tweet, less than a blog post. In it, the author makes mention of the some unique features. Instead of linking to your media, you can directly embed audio, video, a chat, photos, a quote, a link or just text. E-mail posting is also supported. You’re assigned a Tumblr e-mail that you use to post, so running it through your e-mail program would be beneficial if you’re often on-the-go. Finally, Tumblr is highly customizable. You can choose from a theme, build your own or do both–editing the HTML or CSS of an existing theme. He says, “For someone like me who already blogs, tumblr might be a good place for posting unrelated things or stuff that doesn’t warrant a full post…”
Today’s honored guest is Morgan Schoaff, fellow Elliott School of Communication student and Tumblr user.
1. Why did you choose Tumblr?
Dr. Kamerer recommended Tumblr as an up and coming blog tool when I met with him last semester. After looking through some random “tumblelogs,” I was really impressed at the simplicity of the site, the ease of finding people to follow as well as the quality of information they posted. Most tumblelogs are primarily composed of short-form mixed media posts such as: links, quotes, video, audio and pictures. Posts are typically not text-heavy and, because Tumblr focuses on mixed media, they are often aesthetically pleasing and an outlet for designers and creatives to share their work with the world.
2. Have you used other platforms before? If yes, what was it and how does your experience compare?
I have previously used Xanga and WordPress. WordPress was definitely the better of the two, although I was sharing the blog with my other classmates. Our blog was based solely on text, but it seemed to be very efficent. In comparing the two, I would say that Tumblr is based more on design and WordPress is based on written content.
3. What are some pros and cons of Tumblr, from your time using it?
- To follow someone’s tumblelog, all you have to do is click the “follow” button on the top right corner of his/her blog site. (similar to Twitter)
- Every Tumblr account has a “dashboard” on its homepage. When people update their tumblelogs, and you’re following them, their updated posts appear on your dashboard. This allows you to see what people are posting without actually going to their blog sites. It saves a lot of time but still gives you all the information.
- The dashboard contains 7 icons: text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio, video. Click on the icon that is appropriate for your message and instantly post your material.
- You can post from your cell phone.
- You can reblog posts from other people.
- Customized themes
- It’s free
- Supported by iPhone but not BlackBerry (to my knowledge)
- Occasionally difficult to post multiple pictures in one post
- Large following nationwide but not locally
- Searching through the archives can be troublesome
4. In 75 words or less, describe how to set up a Tumblr site:
Easy easy. Go to http://www.tumblr.com, insert your e-mail address & password and shazaam! you have a tumblr account. Then it’s just a matter of customizing your site (pre-designed themes or your own HTML) and posting material through your dashboard icons.
[You can visit Morgan’s tumblelog here.]
While Tumblr is less a CMS (if you can really consider it one), I still thought it was worth mentioning as an option for those looking to dig a bit further into blogging. We have one more installation to go in this series. It will be about Movable Type, featuring Dr. David Kamerer! See ya in a couple of days.