Thinking of Tumblr-ing?

In 2007, a new blogging platform called Tumblr introduced itself to the world. It caught on pretty quickly, proving popular with people who didn’t exactly want to waste time fiddling with typical blog platforms like Typepad/Blogger/Wordpress because it appealed to people who aren’t picky and who just have thoughts/pictures/things they want to get out.

It has no character limit, it’s easy for people to follow you and subscribe, and since its launch their developers have added more functions to make posting really easy. And if you are slightly pickier, you can get customizable templates within Tumblr but usability is still extremely simple.

Just have something you want to say? Click on Text and type away, just like you would a regular blog and you can add a picture if you like, or if you want to get fancy, embed video in the HTML.

Want to only upload a picture or video? Click on (you guessed it) Photo or Video. Easy peasy.

I’ll delve deeper into the “what you can do with Tumblr” post another day. For today, I’ll explain why I think using Tumblr is more gain than pain.

I like using Tumblr. Personally, I use it when something I want to say is too long for Twitter and too short for a blog post. Others put it to better use, like my current favorite Tumblr, AnimalsTalkingInAllCaps. It’s PRECISELY what it sounds like and way more entertaining once you get into it. What purpose does that site serve? The purpose of making people laugh. Your purpose may be different, but it will meet some innate need, most likely on Tumblr.

A lot of the blogs I follow I found through other people. It's SO easy to reblog something on Tumblr, it's almost like the original Pinterest but with blog posts.

One question I’ve seen: I don’t have a blog but I want one. Should I start with Tumblr?

Yup, especially if:

  • You don’t have the patience or knowledge to customize templates or the time to learn how.
  • You want to blog on the go - Tumblr has easy-to-use mobile apps that provide the same functionality the website has. So if you’re somewhere and something inspires you, have at it.

It's a wonderful starter blog with tons of templates so whether you're more information oriented or you're more picture oriented, there's something you can use. Use Instagram a lot? A couple of local style/fashion bloggers I know use Tumblr to complement their blogs, linking their Tumblr feed to their Instagram accounts so their pictures all show up as a gallery.

What if I already have a blog? Do I really need one more thing??

No, I guess you don’t NEED one, but it can’t hurt and can only help. You see, with 170 million active users and a really easy to use tagging and tag search function, people can and will find you on Tumblr.

That’s the other thing about Tumblr - it has a great search function so use that to your advantage. Think of it as a search engine for blogs. Sure, the blogs you find are limited to Tumblr but with so many users, you're bound to find more than enough of what you seek.

So if your goal is to get your blog and your name out there, if you want to grow your following, Tumblr’s a great way to do that.

You can also have your fans “interview” you with the Ask function where people can ask you a question either by logging into their Tumblr account, or doing so anonymously and that q&a shows up on your blog. It’s quite nifty.

I don’t want to blog. But there are blogs I like on Tumblr, do I need an account?

It's not necessary because you can just access the blogs you like by typing in their URL. But this is one thing I kind of like about Tumblr: you can follow your favorite blogs, and access all the latest posts in one feed but to do this, you need your own Tumblr account.

You don’t have to say anything or contribute anything! Just like how you probably already lurk on Twitter, you can do the same thing on Tumblr. You don’t necessarily have to follow a particular Tumblr to read it, but it helps to have all the different ones you follow right there when you log in or use the app on your mobile device. Again, it’s free to sign up and you don’t have to do a thing after that except follow and read.

I do encourage you to try it, I mean, you have nothing to lose. Well, except some of your time because there's a LOT of fun stuff to see on there. Feel free to follow me on Tumblr, I'll try not to distract you too much!