Friday, June 17, 2011

Tumblr: Ease Of Use?

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseTumblr has been in the news for having surpassed Wordpress. Tumblr surpassed both Blogger and Wordpress in page hits months back. Looks like it has now surpassed Wordpress on some other metric that shall remain unnamed by me.

What is it? There is the itch to explain. The pundits are pouring in.

I have a feeling analyzing might not work. Unless you use Tumblr, you will not get it. I myself was late to the party, but now I show up every day, most every day. Tumblr completes me.

And Tumblr still is not my primary blogging platform. I am still stuck on Blogger. I do long form blogging. I pontificate. And Blogger allows me to play with a little bit of code. On Tumblr, I mostly reblog, I almost totally reblog. And yet Tumblr completes me like Blogger does not.

The Music Tag On Tumblr
My Tumblr Just Got An Upgrade
David Karp: Tumblr Or Hipstr

Some are saying it's ease of use. And, I mean, that's there. That's a given. But that ease of use does not explain it me. I am not on Tumblr for ease of use. Most of the people I follow on Tumblr are people who are deep into tech. I don't think they are ease-of-use people. Most of them perhaps can code. These are smart people who did not show up on Tumblr after they bought a Blogging For Dummies book on Amazon.

What is it? It is beyond ease of use. Ease of use is a given. It's just there. But it's not the reason, it's not the primary reason, I don't think so.

I think it's social. Tumblr might have cracked the social nut in ways Facebook and Twitter haven't. On Facebook you find yourself friending people you did not bother friending in real life when you actually were doing high school with them. But now you are friends, and they get to see all your party pictures, parties you might not have wanted to invite them to even if you had the option.

Twitter is thin and spread out. It has its place. It sure has its place. I show up on Twitter every day, pretty much every day, just like I show up on Tumblr pretty much every day, most days. There are several things that are possible on Twitter that simply are not possible anywhere else. But Twitter is another topic. This post is about Tumblr.

What is it? It's magic. It's the magic of social. Things happen without your knowing it has happened. I follow a bunch of people in
Image representing David Karp as depicted in C...Image by Matthew Buchanan / Flickr via CrunchBasethe NY tech ecosysmtem on Tumblr. I am a political person who did not come to Tumblr for politics. I came for tech acting on a piece of advice from Casey Culture. Some of the most prominent techies I follow on Tumblr, the most prolific ones, are all hard core political animals. And that brings me a sense of relief. If you are out to change the world, you need to know what's going on.

In following people and reblogging them, you kind of get to know people over time. If you have a good idea of what someone is passionate about, you will get to know them in ways you will not get to know them simply by saying hello to them at five separate tech events. Tumblr can add depth to your offline socializing. Tumblr is social.

It is not exactly networking. You are not trying to get something out of it. But it is inspirational. There are tech entrepreneurs I have met a few times in person who I meet near daily on Tumblr. Gives me a pretty good idea of who they are over a period of time. Most of the time they probably don't even notice when I reblog them, and that's okay. I reblog to make my personal tumblog pretty, not to get their attention.

But sometimes you get noticed, and this happens.

Meeting Kevin Slavin: Tumblr's Brilliance
Kevin Slavin Sold His Company To Zynga

I thought I was following 100 people on Tumblr. Looks like I am following more like 250.
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