What’s a tumblelog, in the first place:
A tumblelog (also known as a tlog or tumblog) is a variation of a blog that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumblelogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, tumblelogs are frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences while providing little or no commentary.
Tumblelogs usually consist of a stream of ideas (and media) while one is online or even offline. While blogs usually are long post, tumblelogs are short–just anything you want to share.
In the words of Tumblr:
To make a simple analogy: If blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks.
I particularly loved the system behind tumblr to build my tumblelog upon. I received an invitation to try out tumblr long before, but I actually tried out the service only since last week. Having some spare domain names, I decided to put them up to good use and give tumblr a try.
Tumblr vs. WordPress
Having trusted WordPress for the last 2 years already, I would have opted to use it to continue tumblelogging. Yet, tumblr offers these unique features that drew me away from WordPress for this particular case:
- Domain Name Mapping
- Ability to customize your theme
- Smarter Bookmarklet
All posts, media, the whole database can be hosted at tumblr, at no cost. Unlike WordPress.com, wherein you have to pay $10 if you want to map your domain name server to their servers, tumblr doesn’t require such. Just point your A record to their server and you can start tumblelogging.
While you have all the flexibility of customizing your blog at a self-hosted WordPress blog, the ability to customize your tumblelog at tumblr (at their own server, that is) is what everyone will surely be happy about. You just need to have that html and css skills to have the total control of the looks of your site. Nevertheless, there are always other themes to choose from in their themes corner, or there are custom themes available in the internet, you just have to copy and paste the codes at the “themes” section of your dashboard.
You can build a community among your friends using tumblr. You can even have a group tumblelog, where everyone may post.
It’s just like the “Press It” in WordPress, but better, in a sense that it’s much smarter. It knows when you’re in flickr or youtube and classify the post as either “photos” or “videos”, respectively. (Regular tumblr themes have different way of presenting different type of posts, either text, photo, quote, link, chat, audio or video).
More than just a bookmarklet, Tumblr auto-uploads images to their own server for displaying in your tumblelog. The issue with using WordPress with the Quick-Post plugin is that if you tumblelog a photo on the web, this Quick Post plugin will hotlink to that image – that’s different behavior from Tumblr where a copy of the image is uploaded to your Tumblr account.
Add to that, you can also post by email, and attachments like photos and audios are automatically saved in the tumblr server for posting. Posting pictures taken directly from my cellphone is a breeze. Moreso, with just pictures I stumble upon the internet. In the end, the keyword here is CONVENIENCE and SPEED. It’s just easy and fast posting with tumblr.
The downside of Tumblr
- Archive View
I don’t know why Tumblr doesn’t want to offer commenting in the first place. Maybe they were just too afraid of spam. But, nevertheless, it was good thing that Disqus is there to fill in the void.
Tumblr also has no built in search engine where you can search for your posts in the archive. Sure, there can be google search, but–it takes time for google to actually index your pages for search purposes.
The archives page presented by tumblr is not really that attractive, at least for me. It doesn’t even help with searching through your archives.
This is more of a question than a fact. Of course, a self-hosted WordPress blog can go with you, it depends on your ability to maintain it, pay the domain name registration fee and the webhosting services, and the reliability of your webhosting service. But when tumblr goes out of business, your tumblelog also goes with them.
So there you go, I hope I just convinced you to build your own tumblelog through tumblr. For me, I intend to keep my tumblr account over at tumblog.deuts.net. Short posts, asides (maybe), pictures taken with my mobile phone, unpostable pictures to my flickr or Into the Viewfinder, and everything I stumble upon in the world wide web that I find interesting and worthy of sharing, you’ll find them there.