Tumblring around…

Microblogging has been getting increasingly popular these days, and one great example of that is Tumblr. If you do not already know, Tumblr lets its users post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their “tumblelog”, a short-form blog. Tumblr emphasizes user-friendliness and connecting people together.

Started up in 2007 by David Karp, Tumblr now has over 3 million users and averages 2 million posts daily. Easily accessible from computers, iPhones and Blackberries, Tumblr has an 85% retention rate, over twice that of Twitter (which only had 40%), meaning that those who join, stay.

You may be surprised, but if you were to search on trends.google.com, there are more people searching for the term [tumblr] than for [wordpress]! Although searches for [tumblr] are only about 1/7 that of [twitter], this figure is already very impressive for a social media startup. To know more, read this article by Ted Ives.

After doing some research, I have identified a few pros and cons of Tumblr:

1. User-friendly, but less flexible

Tumblr is simple to use and easy to set up, but it is slightly inflexible in the sense that you cannot have a lot of control over themes and plugins that other blogging platforms (eg. WordPress) offer. Nevertheless, Tumblr is a very visually appealing platform and users can choose from many Tumblr themes out there and use them with just a few clicks of the mouse. Quick and easy.

2. Very Social

Although Tumblr doesn’t have multi-user registration (unlike wordpress), it beats many other blogging sites in terms of connecting bloggers within in a social context. It has a community and features like Reblogging , Following and Liking. Reblogging means that you take someone else’s post and put it up on your own blog, adding your own comments at your discretion. Following is following someone’s tumblr so that on your dashboard, their posts show, which actually works just like Facebook’s news feeds. Liking is, similarly, what Facebook like does.

Tumblr has also recently introduced the “Share” button. When you click on this button, you can share whatever content that you’re looking at (eg. a video on YouTube or an article on Facebook) and post it straight to your Tumblr blog. The best part? You can customize how your content appears, ie. as a Link, Quote, Photo, or Video Embed.

 3. Good for certain businesses

I found an article touching on the pros and cons of using a Tumblr blog for small businesses, but for now I’ll just show you some successful examples of businesses who have used Tumblr to effectively market themselves and expand their consumer base. I personally think businesses in the fashion industry especially should leverage on Tumblr because Tumblr’s edge over other platforms lies in its visual appeal. I have picked a few examples here:

1. Elle (http://tumblr.elle.com/)

Elle magazine, a popular magazine that gives readers the low-down on street-chic, must have items this season and all the latest fashion trends.  Having a Tumblr presence has helped Elle to reach out to more customers and have an online personality. Such an appeal has worked well for its target market of modern, young women pursuing the trends in fashion.

2.  Regular Ol Ty (http://regularolty.com/)

Set up by Ty, who is the owner of downtown Chicago store Leaders 1534, this blog features streetwear, great shoes and cool video clips. It also has links to its e-shop where bloggers can purchase the items featured.

3.  Styled On (http://styledon.tumblr.com/)

This isn’t a business on its own, but more of a fashion community. Dubbed “Facebook for the fashion set” by the New York Times, Styled On is a platform where fashionistas can connect and share tastes, styles and brands. It promotes and features magazine content while also acting as an online collage of fashion news and miscellanea.

I hope I’ve shared enough to get you guys interested in exploring Tumblr and its fascinating world. Once you get in, its hard to come out!

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