I’ve already written about how Tumblr is the best choice for someone looking to start a blog with minimal effort. Setting up your first Tumblr is an exercise in ease. Not only are the themes attractive, but social integration is phenomenal and customization is simple. All this combines to make an essentially foolproof blogging platform. If you’re a beginner, if you hate computers, if email still kind of freaks you out, you can setup a Tumblr.
Jay Parkinson's Blog is a great example of the thought process behind a Tumblr.
Tumblr takes away the hard part of blogging. Okay, that’s not true. At all. Most people think setting up the blog is the hard part, but as they soon find out, constantly creating content is the real hard part.
Or, wait. Maybe. Maybe, Tumblr can take away the hard part. Tumbling is different than a traditional blog in a few key ways. It’s integrated with other Tumblr pages across the system. This makes sharing and reacting to others content easy. It fundamentally changes the act of blogging. You can still write long form articles and columns, but Tumblr makes it easy and totally acceptable to just write a sentence or two about a picture.
You can post your own photos, or you can comment on photos others have posted. Your comment on someone’s photo can be your entire blog post. After all, a picture is worth 1000 words.
You’re still producing content. It may not be the kind of keyword rich SEO fodder that’s going to drive search engine traffic to your site, but something is better than nothing. Plus, the ease of sharing across Tumblr means you’ll likely get traffic just by virtue of people browsing the system. The integration of social media on Tumblr may even make search engine traffic a moot point. The easier to share the better. The easier to share on Facebook and Twitter, the more traffic.
I link to Dr. Jay Parkinson in the blog-roll here and if you’re looking for a great example of a Tumblr blog, I’ll steer you to his. It’s like a visual diary. He does a great job collecting online ephemera, tracing out a thought process, building a story, sharing a point of view.
Another example of a blog, that isn’t actually a Tumblr, but functions in the same way, is the blog for the sunglasses company Knockaround. You’ll see they share images that reinforce their brand. They strive for a sort of 1970’s Americana and you’ll see it from images of 1979 Ford F-100’s to hand tools. Their cheap-o plastic sunglasses are the furthest you could get from handmade items, but their images of a spokeshave help craft that story. They sometimes share stories, but the majority of the posts are images.
If you search through existing Tumblrs, you’ll find that most of them that have a clear defining purpose are more like a narrative Twitter account than a blog. Pithy quotes from movies, or images of mid-century modern living rooms, not blogs like this one.
If you’ve been looking to get into blogging, but aren’t sure if you have the time or the technical know how, Tumblr might be a great first stop for you.