Of my absence is this darling tumblelog that I made sometime back. I’m not being able to control my new found obsession. It’s so easy to post pictures, quotes, video, audio (yes, you can upload everything to their servers free of cost), and many other things in a couple of seconds with the help of a bookmarklet. It might very well bring around the death of blogging of one day. Okay, so I’m going over board. Not death, but Twitter, Tumblr, Pownce, Soup and other micro blogging platforms are here to stay, which is apparent from the number of posts that people make in their tumblelogs, compared to their blogs. And I seem to be one of them.
As much as I love blogging, there are times when I don’t blog about stuff (that I would really love to), because of the need to tailor my post to a particular length, or to include links etc. and all of this is very time consuming. I’m finding my tumblelog to be quite liberating in this way, in that there is no pressure. It’s more personal by nature and I’ve already made an awesome set of “followers” there.
Consider getting yourself one of these, if you like writing shorts posts. And we can be neighbors and follow each other.
Here’s a donut for you people- Take a look at all the lovely pictures/funny stuff that I’ve collected so far on this interactive page.
Alltop has nine sections:
As you can guess, Ego features the rantings of “top” bloggers, such as Kawaski himself, Scoble, Fake Steve Jobs, Seth Godin etc. I am surprised that he’s given Mac a separate section. On second thoughts, I’m not really that surprised. But it does look a little unfair. If he’s given Mac a separate section, then why did he hesitate in giving technology and science two different pages?
The news sources that Alltop uses are quite good content wise. For example- The Science section has New York Times, BBC, Newsweek, Yahoo! Science News among others. Popurls is more focused on user driven content, such as, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Truemors etc.
- I’m hoping that with time, he will let us customize the look of the site.
- Don’t like clicking on different pages for accessing different sections. Probably I’ve gotten too Popurlized.
- Also, if you notice, the page footer is quite annoying because it keeps moving as you scroll up or down the page. A static footer would have been much better.
Will it be a popurl killer? Probably not. The crowd that Alltop wants to attract seems to be quite different. Unless Kawasaki makes some changes to the basic layout of the site, I don’t see myself being a regular reader. That footer is way too annoying.
Let’s move away from Twitter and make space for the new kid in the block, Tumblr! I’ve never really been fascinated by Twitter/Jaiku/Pownce because they lack the power of customization and are very restricted in their usage. Tumblr is a tumblelog that “slightly more structured blogs that make it easier, faster, and more fun to post and share stuff you find or create.” It’s a Twitter-meets-WordPress kind of thing, if you will. Most of you often find links, photos, videos or quotes that we would like to share and in case you don’t want to make it into a blog post, you can just post it to your tumblelog. So, technically, these are shorter than traditional blog posts, but longer than your Twitter updates. The sign up process is really simple and easy. All that you’ve got to do is enter an e-mail address, user name and password and you’re done! This is my Tumblr page, if you’re interested.
Tumblr has a number of amazing features that will make you want to get an account ASAP!
- Free domain mapping- How cool is that? Especially for WP.com users who pay $10 per year to get the same service.
- You can upload one MP3 song, less than 5 MB in size, every day! Yay!
- Embed videos directly from the internet or upload your own videos.
- You can also make a link post, that shares only a web page link.
- You can also share “chat conversations”. I haven’t tried this…but apparently, you can post chat transcripts from MSN/Gtalk/Yahoo/AOL etc.
- There are some really cool themes to choose from. Most of these themes are only single columned. This is the one of the major differences between having a full blown blog at WP.com/Blogger and having a tumblelog at Tumblr. But I did see a couple of two column themes (including A Bus Full of Hippies) too.
- Most of the themes are totally customizable. You can edit the CSS/HTML and add Java scripts.
- You can also “Follow”people, like you do in Twitter. Others can also follow you.
- Fully functional RSS feeds.
- Amazing “Archives” system- The way Tumblr archives all your posts is such a beauty. Just take a look at the Archives of any of the tumblelogs that have been featured on the Front Page.
- Upload your personalized avatar, which also doubles up as your tumblelog’s favicon.
Basically, there are no restrictions to what you can do. Feel free to write just a line updating your status or talking about something else, if you want to.
However, I did find some restrictions:
- As of now, there is no in-built comment system, but Tumblr does plan to introduce this very soon. But you can use a third party comment service provider, such as Haloscan or Disqus.
- I couldn’t find any way by which I can check the “Stats”. This is not really a drawback, because we need to understand that a tumblelog is different from a blog. So, we can’t really expect all the features. But yes, you can see the number of people who are following you. On second thoughts, I’m sure you can use Sitemeter or Google Analytics or a similar stats service easily, by adding the HTML code to the sidebar (in case you use a two column theme).
If you would like to know about Tumblr, then take a look at the Help page. I signed up for their service two weeks back, but didn’t start using it until today. I’ll be regularly adding lots of things to it.
Edit: Just found an interview by Tech Confidential where David Karp says that 40% of the traffic comes from referrals.