Tumblr, the NY based, mini blogging or micro blogging service, seems to be reaching critical mass, now hosting more than a million blogs. It’s been described as “the easiest way to share yourself” It’s the essence of the social web – Tumblr has had some high profile blogs get book deals based on popularity along, such as LATFH, and This is Why Your Fat. Smart copy and ideas get a lot of traction, like Wordboner, and Steal Our Ideas. Tumblr has created an entire sub-culture of categorized, sharable content, F***Yeah Tumblrs such as F***YeahBabyAnimals.
If you’re not familiar with it, its like a cross between Twitter and a more traditional blog such as WordPress or Blogger. I fell in love with Tumblr a few months ago, because its so easy to use and intuitive. It became a way to keep the photos, conversations and links recorded in a timeline. I realised when I started using it that I’m a compulsive sharer, and it became a fun extension of the kinds of things I like in my personal life, a more aesthetic focus than my WordPress blog where I write about work related subjects
What’s so great about Tumblr then?
- Simplified user interface based on content type means that you can choose the type of content click on an icon, upload and its done
- Sharability is the key to Tumblr – the “reblog” button is like a re-tweet or share on Facebook.
- Twitter integration. You can sign into your Twitter account and reblog tweets as conversations, as a bonus it keeps all your original Twitter status links. You can have all your Tumblr posts go directly to Twitter too.
- You can choose to have people comment on your posts, or they can express how they like what you’ve posted by the “like” button or by reblogging.
- Disqus comments. Disqus comment system assigns comments to users rather than leaving them isolated on blogs. Its the most social of all the commenting systems, with Twitter logins and Twitter tracking built in. Disqus is built into Tumblr so if you have comments enabled, it just works.
- Your “Tumblarity”, a social popularity scale made up by Tumblr, is calculated by a mixture of what you post, how much others have liked it, shared it and how many people follow your Tumblr blog. Sure its a popularity contest – isn’t everything on the social web?
- Your readers can submit content. If you enable the “Enable Audience Submissions” in Advanced features, your readers can help you create content and you have a truly collaborative social content tool at your disposal
- See popular, recently popular and upcoming content as people are interacting with it and increasing its popularity.
- Follow other Tumblr’s based on common interests, your friends or subject matter, all at the click of a button
- Customizable themes, and a simple to use API make Tumblr popular with developers. There is a wide variety of themes, and they’re easy to change.
- Minimalism and simplicity are Tumblr mantras. Less laden with links and clutter than the regular wordy blog.
- Add your other blogs via RSS feed. Post now or schedule them. Many regular blogs such as PostSecret now also have Tumblr extensions.
- Choose to promote you Tumblr blog via Tumblr or not. The choice is yours. Google & Technorati classify Tumblr as a blog, so you can reap the benefits
- Create one Tumblr or create one for each of your subject or interest areas. One Tumblr user I know creates new ones like “folders” on the web for the different types of content he likes to share.
- Tumblr matches content you share with others, and makes suggestions of other people to follow.
- With a Directory based on tags, and geographical areas, you can even explore Tumblrs via the country they come from. More than a million blogs live on Tumblr, and Japan is the second most popular country, with Australia number four.
- Its got an iPhone app, with all the same features so you can update on the go. Again, seamless, device independent sharing wins. I tend to use mine instead of the Twitpic and YFrog Twitter image posting services because of the higher resolution of the images posted.
- Tagging and categorizing. You can tag your posts and depending on your theme they become clickable links. You can categorize your entire Tumblr blog so others can find and follow you.
Update: a couple more key features
- Custom URLs. Have a Tumblr URL e.g. something.tumblr.com or just move an existing domain name to your Tumblr. Couldn’t be easier.
- A relatively new feature is the photoset. An animated photo album with tags.
Its a long list of reasons to love Tumblr, so if you like sharing content, give it a try. My Tumblr is Tiphereth – follow it if you feel the urge. If you’re already using it, what do you like about Tumblr? Share your Tumblr experiences.