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Tumblr – Easy blogging

What is Tumblr?

Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is a media sharing platform based on tumblelog (Tumblelog is a short-form mixed-media blog according to The Wall Street Journal). This means on one hand, that Tumblr is similar to a weblog but easier in administration and publishing terms, and on the other hand, that you can have all the creative stuff from Internet just in one place.

Tumblr is also a microblogging site, were the short and direct message is preferable. However, no limitations are up on Tumblr, text posts are as long as wanted. In David Karps words, founder of Tumblr, Inc, creativity of any kind is encouraged but when he came up with the idea back 6 years ago, on 2007, he wanted a site where he could post just an image and not give that much importance to the text as in other blog services (indeed, he mentions Blogger).

Even though it is a very recent site, in 2011 Tumblr had already more blogs than WordPress and statistics talk about 77 million blogs on October 2012. Tumblr is mostly popular between teens and college aged youth (about the half of its users is aged under 25). This rapid growth was not ignored by great companies and Adidas has a sport blog on Tumblr while ELLE has a fashion blog. As well as them, Beyoncé is also on Tumblr.

How does it work?

Tumblr allows users to post many kind of media, which are:

–   Texts

–   Images

–   Videos

–   Links

–   Quotes

–   Audio

While it might happen that in other blogs images, videos, and audio are just mere instrument to enhance the ideas shared with a text (so we understand that the quality and the good appearance of the text is empowered); in Tumblr text and the rest of features have the same importance. Moreover, images have the most relevant role and are the most used format. This is the reason why images, video and audio players, and also the uploaders for each one have a great quality.

Signing up to Tumblr is easy and fast, and the help tool for the beginning is very useful (although there are many tutorials and videos that show clearly how to manage this microblogging site). One of the main differences between Tumblr and other weblogs is the appearance of the dashboard which is a stream of posts (images, videos, audio, etc.) instead of a tool to access to our creations. This shows the different perspective between sites, while in ones the “I” is enhanced, in the other is more about “Us” and sharing creativity.

It must be said that Tumblr has some social characteristics, as we will see later, and blogs follow others, but it is also possible to keep the blog private or just accessible for few people (it is necessary in the last case to have a password to view the Tumblr blog).

Also as WordPress or Blogger, Tumblr gives the chance to change the theme and somehow use one that frames better the most published format. That means that there are themes more focused on texts and others on the videos. It is true that in the page for customizing themes in Tumblr there are free and paying themes; but through Internet (and in some Tumblr blogs) it is possible to find more themes freely. Moreover, applications as Missing E give the chance to customize the dashboard theme (background and post buttons)

As it had mentioned earlier in this post, there are some social features on Tumblr and even Marco on Blogalaxia compares it with two giants as Twitter and Facebook:

–   With Twitter Tumblr shares the “follow” option but it also has a kind of “retweet” which in Tumblr is “reblog” and with this facility you just have the opportunity to share on your blog others content.

–   With Facebook, Tumblr shares the “like” button represented by a heart on Tumblr and thumbs up on Facebook. Also in Tumblr there is a page on the dashboard were all the liked posts are collected.

Tumblrers (Tumblr users) can keep in contact with messages. These messages are about 200 and 300 characters maximum

Tumblr letter

Tumblr letter

and can be identified with the blog name or anonymous. For the last one, Tumblr has an option no to allow anonymous comment and encourages users to report any injuring comments. Letters are other communication tool and they admit longer text and different writing style formats but they cannot be anonymous.

Why Tumblr?

Tumblr gives a chance to creativity. Most of the blogs are from amateur photographers, writers, singers, painters and many other artistic people that find on Tumblr a perfect media to share their creations and, as Karp himself stated, a commitment to favor them, to help them to spread the word – their word. Furthermore, it is that easy that has become the perfect meeting point for fandoms (people that have a determined interest in common, usually a famous individual, tv program or any other kind) and let them express their selves the way nowhere else they could.

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