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.