Created in 2007 by David Karp, Tumblr is a community microblogging platform set up similarly to Twitter, where users can like, comment on, or share each other’s posts. Unlike Blogger, WordPress, and Typepad, Tumblr isn’t self-hosted. On the one hand, this means slightly less control over one’s blog (though there are plenty of themes you can choose, and users can manipulate their blogs’ code.) On the other, this means more followers, and more sharing. Over half of the users on Tumblr are 34 and under.
On the technical side, Tumblr users can like or reblog each other’s posts, pin or highlight their own, make submissions or ask questions of other users, tag posts and track hashtags, save drafts of posts, and set up a queue or post schedule. The best way to connect with the Tumblr community is by tracking tags (using the Search bar) to keep up with posts in a particular category, following relevant bloggers, and liking or re-posting (“reblogging”) their posts.
According to Entrepreneur, most Tumblr traffic occurs from 7 pm to 10 pm during the week, and Tumblr is more active on Friday evenings than most other social networks. Fortunately, Tumblr allows users to create a queue and schedule posts. Queues will be posted according to settings that the user controls (a certain number of times during a certain period of the day), and posts can be scheduled up to a week in advance. Spend a little time each day adding posts to your queue, or saving them as drafts to schedule them later. For more visibility, users can highlight posts or pin them (so they remain at the top of a person’s dashboard throughout the day or until someone unpins them.) People can choose to allow responses to their posts when publishing them, and by creating a Disqus account, users can comment on posts that don’t have the response option.
Some caveats about Tumblr:
1. As with other social networks, beware of “I follow you, you follow me” or “gain followers quickly” schemes, as they may promote low quality connections (and they can also clutter up your dashboard.) To find relevant blogs, track relevant tags.
2. People can send anonymous messages to you, unless you disable this feature. This usually isn’t an issue for people, unless they blog about touchy subjects.
3. If compared to other social networking sites, Tumblr is more similar to Twitter and self-hosted blogs (Blogger, Typepad, WordPress), in that it is a smaller, more active version of the latter, and less like Facebook, meant more for direct connections to people and daily status updates.
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