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Tumblr is set to become the blogging tool of 2010 with its massive growth, yet still many people don’t fully understand what Tumblr does, or how it works. If you’ve ever tried to start a blog, but found yourself struggling to find the time, Tumblr is something you’re definitely going to want to take a look at.
Put simply, Tumblr is a service that does exactly what WordPress does for blogging, but for microblogging, or tumbleblog’s instead. To fully understand what Tumblr does, you first need to understand what these so-called tumbleblog’s actually are.
A tumblelog is a variation of a blog, that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumbleblogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, this format is frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences without providing a commentary. – Wikipedia
What does this mean? Well basically, Tumblr fills the gap between Twitter, where people tweet resources, images, and thoughts, and traditional blogging platforms, like WordPress where each post is a proper article. Instead, Tumblr works with seven types of post; text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio and video, and it handles them all very well.
According to Tumblr statistic’s, in the last six months, Tumblr has grown from around 300M monthly page views, to over 1 Billion in February 2010; a massive growth for any product, and it speaks for itself really. A product doesn’t grow at such a rapid rate, if people aren’t enjoying using it.
The biggest reason behind Tumblr’s growing support, is it’s vast number of social features, and it’s ease of use. For a start, Tumblr make it extremely offer for you to post to your blog, even if you can’t access your homepage yourself. Here are some of the clever ways Tumblr makes it possible for you to update your tumbleblog:
As well as the fantastic free iPhone app that is available officially from Tumblr, you also have access to a multitude of applications for the iPhone, Web, Desktop’s, Mobile’s, Widget’s and Browser’s. They are all filed away tidily in an official Tumblr app directory.
Definitely high up on the list of reasons for Tumblr’s acceptance has been its solid two-way integration with other social media, and networking services. Part of its automatic posting from other sites come from major names such as Digg, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, but it doesn’t stop there. As well as having the ability to automatically pull in your content live from these sites, you can also send information back. Facebook is a prime example with its ability to show your activity on Tumblr on your Facebook wall, keeping all your friends up to date with what your blogging and activity.
Other than those already mentioned, Tumblr also focus’ on those important, but small things that you need.
First off, Tumblr wouldn’t be where it was if it wasn’t for its easy to use backend user interface. The interface is split into two sections; the dashboard, where your’s and other peoples content meet you, and customisation, where you control all sorts of aspects of your tumbleblog.
Posting any of the seven different type’s of content from your dashboard is a breeze, with visual buttons, and a clean design. The backend goes on to keep you up-to-date with all the Tumbleblogs you are following, in a very Twitter like manner, keeping it clean and easy to read. For a look at how the dashboard looks, click on the image below.
Customisation though, is a whole different kettle of fish. It is basically a dummy page of your current theme, with one default entry in each of the seven post categories. A menu bar at the top of the page allows you to make many important, and useful changes and decisions that affect your tumbleblog.
The menu provides a multitude of options;
As you change these options, especially your theme options, the dummy page below changes to mirror the choices you have made, allowing you to check how your blog will look, as you work.
Tumblr is a fantastic piece of kit, filling in that gap in the market between products such as wordpress that provide full blogs, social networking such as facebook, and status updating from Twitter, and it does it extremely well. Tumblr is honestly a pleasure to work with. Simplicity makes the user interface effect and easy to use, and you never feel like there isn’t anything important missing, or out of your control. It makes blogging and sharing things you find on the internet a breeze, and most importantly, unlike Twitter, it does so visually. If you find yourself failing to keep a full blog up-to-date, and enjoy sharing the things you find, the there’s no easier way to do so than Tumblr, so give it a go.
For those that do choose to start using Tumblr, or already do, then keep an eye here, because coming up are several articles that will increase your happiness with Tumblr, such as a roundup of fantastic themes, and more importantly learning how to create your own custom theme! For now, check out these 5 impressive tumbleblogs for inspiration to see what Tumblr is truly capable of.
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Matt is an 18 year old web designer from Scotland, UK. He loves creating beautiful websites across different platforms. High on his things to learn fully are Jquery and php. He is extremely excited by css3 and html5 and can't wait to see them rolled out fully. To learn more about Matt, follow him @QwibbleDesigns, or check out his portfolio.