What is it and why should I care: Tumblr

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What is it

Tumblr, sometimes styled as tumblr., is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. The service emphasizes ease of use ~Wikipedia

In my words

Tumblr is a somewhere you can post short bursts of content (just an image, just a video) very easily.  It makes posting all kinds of content really user friendly; you can do it from your phone, by email, you can even post audio by calling it in on the phone!

You can also have it link to twitter and facebook (and toggle it on or off on a post by post basis).

Why should you care?

If you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You want a blog (or think you’re supposed to have one?) but  you don’t have a lot of time, or only have a variety of short content.


  • Your content is more often not text based (videos, images, audio, etc)


  • You are creating your content from a mobile device and want to get it online quickly (video and photos of events, things happening around town, etc)

  • You want an online space for something that isn’t going to be long lived

then Tumblr. might make a lot more sense for you than creating a traditional blog.

Here are a few examples of how I think a Tumblr. site could be an effective (possibly business) tool:

- An artist who wants to post images of artwork but doesn’t really have anything else to say about the piece.

- An event could have a Tumblr. page and people could post photos and videos from the event from mobile phones as things are unfolding.

- You want to chronicle a specific project - like a 365 photography project or the creation of something, or you want to journal (and amplify) your dealings (and complaints) with a company.

- You want to have a user submitted interest page - maybe photos of Ottawa in the summer, photos of your favourite meals, pantry disasters or like this page by Ottawa Start about interesting and exotic cars in the Ottawa area you can easily set up a submit page . You can also let viewers ask questions to help guide your content.

I think Tumblr. isn’t really for people who are regular bloggers (I have one set up, but it’s more so I could try it out so I could talk about it than out of any specific need) but I could see possibly setting one up for an event, a  fun contest or a sharing space with friends.

Have you tried Tumblr.? What do you think? Have you seen any other creative uses for a Tumblr. page?

Intro to Twitter - What is it and why should I care? (Part 1)

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of posts to help people delve into the world of Twitter.  I hope you’ll follow along!

Twitter is am amazing tool. It has literally changed my life both professionally and personally. People don’t get how it works though and that’s understandable…it’s not really obvious.

Twitter - put simply - is microblogging. It’s a place where you can talk about the things that you are doing online and in small, 140 character bites. (Here is my Twitter page if you want to have a look.)

The bigger question then becomes WHY?

Many people who don’t use Twitter just can’t understand the concept. “What is the point? Who cares?? I don’t get it!!”

If you were to stand in the mall yelling out random things about yourself:

  • “I’m meeting my friend Jenny for lunch. Any recommendations?”
  • “Are there any good sales on shoes in this mall?”

You’re unlikely to get any response beyond funny looks. If, however, you are at the mall with a group of your friends and you had any of those questions, someone would try to help you with the answers.

The same goes for Twitter.  If you don’t know anyone who is using Twitter- the above questions are likely going to go out into the twitterverse unanswered. (Made up words starting with “tw” are just a fun part of twitter; I’m afraid you’re going to have to put up with me using them often.)

However, if you have a large group of people who follow you on twitter and you say something like that, you may very well get a lot of response with advice, tips, etc.

  • “I love Taco Del Mar - say hi to Jenny for me!”
  • “Check out the amazing deals at The Bay!”

Twitter, when used properly, is a community, a social network, a support group, and a lot of fun. It is a goldmine of information, ideas and connections.

But as mentioned above, Twitter isn’t always obvious – it can be confusing to use, navigate, and understand when you start out!

In subsequent posts I will go through how to sign up for a Twitter account.  Once you have your Twitter account you’ll want to know how you find people to follow and how you get people to follow you back.  We’ll discuss the symbols, terminology mean and cover some of the tools people use to manage Twitter, such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, to twtvite and twitpic.

What are some of the benefits you’ve discovered from using Twitter?