“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Someone said tumblr is for teenagers. Or many people said that. Either way, I can’t disagree. It’s stylistic…but stylistic like twitter or like a video game, and Yahoo acquired it for $1.1 billion two years ago. God-forbid I find WordPress turn into it.
Why would anyone blog as if they were playing Nintendo? Okay, that’s not fair of me. Sorry, Nintendo®.
So…I’m still a noob. But only on authorship. I recently created an account…on account of Opinionated Man creating one there. Ugh…nothing against him, but I found the whole new roller-coaster ride immature. But I’m certainly not new to tumblr.
I was introduced to tumblr the way many people were introduced to the world wide web: p orn. I was momentarily curious about something (and no apologies there—any guy who says he hasn’t looked at p orn, at least once, is a liar). And guess what? Upon googling the term I was curious about, and beyond Wikipedia (which I downloaded, of course; never stop learning), among the top results were tumblr blogs.
Clicking the first tumblr link, I quickly learned that, unlike WordPress, tumblr had no real rules when it came to graphic content once the ‘adult’ setting was turned on for a blog. And that messy phenom I was curious about was actually pretty popular among these NSFW blogs, reblogging each other, with very graphic and explicit JPEGs and GIF animations. Within minutes I got answers to questions I didn’t even ask.
Of course the “tumble logs” I found tried to keep things tasteful. Sort of. Like twitter, even many of the avatar pics people chose are graphic. It seems the site only acts on actual laws on the books, and little/nothing else. In contrast, WordPress prohibits graphic content, and Gravatar prohibits nudity, period. Thankfully the avatars in the Notes section of a post are so tiny that the little boobs and genitalia, etc. aren’t distracting in my unusable research. But I did get a chuckle out of it. (Still, NSFW.)
Another thing I found was ordinary tumblr blogs had no advertisements. And those that did (and some annoying ones at that) appeared to have theirs placed manually—by the admin. Now, I don’t know about tumblr’s policies when it comes to ads, but as with WordPress, some themes have a fee. (It’s certainly one way to limit ads, by maintaining revenue from mostly designer themes and domain costs.)
But in terms of functionality, when I created my own tumble log I hit several walls. First, it took a few tries signing up, as I kept getting the ‘Sorry, an error occurred; try again later.’ It makes me wonder if my account was already hacked given the number of times I entered the same email and password.
Second, once I finally signed up, past the “I’m not a robot,” and ads snuck in as ‘look at the potential,’ ‘Tip’ boxes are always popping up. You can reblog, explore explore explore. Tumblr’s so ‘easy,’ yet they keep giving indication otherwise. Several times, out loud, I’ve uttered, “shut up!”
Third, and this important, the actual posts are not very flexible. I write this post in WordPress with tool buttons (in the Classic Editor, of course) that I didn’t even know were there until I clicked a button that revealed them. This didn’t matter much to me, though, as I know HTML and CSS, and have occasionally used both to defy the limitations of this blog’s theme. Tumblr, on the other hand…
- You must pick the right format for a post first—text, image, audio, video, etc. Pick the wrong one, and you may be stuck with it. (Or you could delete the post and start over…try to copy the HTML, or something) I’ve not found the ability to change the format of an already-existing post.
- Alignment and other basic features of HTML are not available. The “standard” editor does not take CSS nor many elements or element attributes on the HTML side, like ‘center.’ So there is no way to center or right-align your images if you chose the ‘text’ format for a post, let alone add indentation or other tricks of the CSS trade. Update: CSS can be added in the appearance settings; it is, however, global, and not available per element.
- You can’t upload images in the text format. I went back and forth, desktop/mobile, and the little “Upload Image” thing that appeared in one circumstance did nothing at all. I actually used twitter to upload the image!
In all, it took me a couple hours to create just two “effortless” posts. And when it was done, I found that the images in ‘text’ posts don’t show automatically (in the Dashboard). (I bet it’s a mobile thing—to make image downloads optional, given data charges.) You have to click one of the large image icons for the images to load.
Now that those internal limitations are out of the way, how about the limitations of external functionality, shall we?
- Unlike typical blog sites, you will, at first, not be able to comment without reblogging. Tumblr gives an admin the ability to say, don’t bother me. Update: if both blogs Follow one another, one may make a simple Reply on a post. This is after a day of Following (or two weeks if the two-week setting is on); this delay is on a post-wise basis, that you still may not Reply on older posts.
- Blog administrators can add more limitations, such as ignoring Followers. (Unfortunately, where WordPress might be heading, or worse.) This restricts outsiders certain abilities altogether.
- Notifications appear in email and on-screen in between posts in the Dashboard scroll. You might not know when someone Follows, but you’ll always see the Follower count in the blog Dashboard. (Thinking the notifications were similar to that of WP, I was stupid enough to go to the Tumblr Inbox thinking I’d find the fact that OM followed back there.)
So…to the WordPress bloggers out there reading this: it probably doesn’t get better than WordPress. I have found tumblr at times faster in performance. It works well as a simple place for simple publication (a.k.a., micro-blogging), plus that little ‘t’ button on your WordPress blog for exposure, but I don’t know what else to tell you.
Well, that’s everything I know. Thanks for reading. And for those interested in viewing my little experiment, click the little cheese below. I’m “ColbyCheeseman.” (Ha-ha.)