(the newbie case for tumblr)

it dawned on me today that my friends who don’t blog and are in process of figuring out twitter should take a look at tumblr.

i’ve been toying around with tumblr for a while now, and i decided initially to put my [twenty-nine] project there, but for a guy who’s committed to blogging regularly and using twitter actively, tumblr’s functionality is in a bit of a grey area for me.  i’m definitely intrigued by its value, so this isn’t meant to be a diss on tumblr, but makes a ton of sense for non-blogger types who want to get involved a little more.

have you ever thought about blogging, but you’re entirely sure what you’d blog about?

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tumblr can be* a way for you to pseudo-blog, as i’m gonna call it.  it’s not twitter; twitter is a different animal.  and blogging is a literary effort…the only blogs worth reading are the product of considered writing and let’s be frank: time and effort.

but tumblr provides a platform that let’s a complete novice offer links, photos, videos, quotes, and brief blog posts to an audience without any technical know-how.  you can set up a blog that your friends can keep track of in less than five seconds.

so here’s why you should do it:

1) you’ve considered blogging, but you don’t consider yourself a blogger.

tumblr is a community, more than it’s a blogging platform.  you can ‘reblog’ the great posts, pictures, and webfinds that other tumblr’s post, as well as stuff you discover elsewhere online.  what that means is that you can write whatever you want and you can augment your own material with stuff you’ve shared, and those cool finds will show up on your own page.  quite naturally you’ll quickly end up with more of a stream than a diary.  it’s like email on steroids.

2) you’re lazy.

blogging takes effort, and that’s just the writing part.  bloggers have to host their website, hire someone to design it or design it themselves, and they have to actively pay attention to what their audience might want to read.  tumblr has provided a platform that sort of skirts those downers by moonlighting as a link-sharing network.  within the tumblr world there’s a vibrant twitter-like behavioral standard that places a lot of value on the things that you share; links, videos, blog posts, articles…you can quickly put them up on your tumblr page and evoke a response from your readers.  the ‘sharing’ take precedence over the ‘writing’ aspect of being a ‘blogger’.

also tumblr’s browser plugin (and iphone app) let’s you ‘blog’ the things you run into while you’re surfing the internet with one click.  no need to compose something insightful…just post it and move on.

3) you’re not particularly technical.

the idea of hosting a website or tweaking code makes a lot of people sick.  tumblr’s website and platform are really easy to understand and very helpful.  you can set up a page in less than 30 seconds, pick a simple built-in theme, and start writing or linking content (a webpage, quote, or video) immediately.

4) you kind of like twitter.

but you feel like you might have more to say. twitter is short and sweet.  it’s becoming mainstream.  blogging, on the other hand, seems like it requires a lot of attention and, well, you have a day job.  tumblr, with its reblogging and twitter-like quick-post platform lets you keep it simple and succinct.

if you want it to be halfway between blogging and tweeting, it can be.

5) you’re a fan of the internet.

not everyone is!  in this day and age the internet is becoming the center of the universe, and for those of you who haven’t dived in head first (like yours truly) tumblr could be a great way to dip your foot in…see if the water’s warm.  you run into entertaining articles, thoughts, videos, and webpages that you share with your friends and family, right?  now you can stake out your own little piece of the internet!

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as a lot of you know, i’m all for people diving into the world of social media and leveraging the power of the internet, but i’m not always sure how to respond to the hesitations that people have about doing so.  everyone has their own level of comfort when it comes to sharing themselves online, and i respect every level of that spectrum.

but i think the majority out there is somewhere in the middle; hesitant but interested.  intrigued by the idea of having their own space or identity online, but cautious as to the level at which they share themselves and the amount of effort they are willing to devote to the task.

tumblr may the perfect solution for getting started!

if you do decide to join tumblr, let us know in the comments section of this post and you’ll have an immediate group of followers on day one!

oh, and since this is a totally unsolicited plug for tumblr: you’re welcome, tumblr.

*i’m not trying to pigeon-hole tumblr here…just promote its utility in the hands of people who are toeing the edge of digital participation.  tumblr is literally perfect for the non-technical type, and i’d offer the overwhelming participation of artists as evidence of that.**

**no technical disrespect to artists…i’d love to be one, actually.

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