I am experimenting with Tumblr, which is an internet platform that is a cross between blog software and Twitter. The controversial journalist Rick Sanchez mentions it today on Huffington Post, and so I thought I would come out with the fact that I have been studying Tumblr for a few weeks.
There is really not much of anything there, but if you want a look-see it is at Hoofin to You at Tumblr dot com, like so. There is not much on it in the way of audio or video, because I haven’t done anything with it besides set up a presence. My online friend “Kei” uses Tumblr in coordination with her original WordPress blog, and says she has a lot of success with it. Her focus is more social topic networking than daily writing, so that might be why it works so well.
For me, though, the first trip up is that someone out there has set up a “Hoofin” with an apostrophe. So it’s a first-come-first-serve basis, which is going to limit Tumblr’s acceptance by people who use other programming. That’s a shame. Had Tumblr been smart, they would have been reserving certain URL’s, or finding out who the main bloggers were and keeping those open–maybe a shout out e-mail.
Rick Sanchez may be right, that the functionality of Tumblr is better than Twitter, because Tumblr doesn’t have the 140-character limit. My Japanese friends love Twitter, because for them, it’s 140 Chinese characters. But for us westerners, it’s 140 letters. Big difference. One hundred forty Chinese characters can be a full paragraph. The same in Roman alphabet is a blog title–if you keep it less than a short sentence.
When I switched to a new template on WordPress a few weeks ago (did anyone notice?), it felt more “Tumblr-y” than what I had been using. The main page keeps all the functionality to the right–things like the last 14 posts, and a calendar. Stuff my regular readers use and like when they don’t want to read me every day. And with so much to read on the ‘Net now, who can read it all? What I don’t like, though, is that a single page entry is kind-of bare: It’s just the text, and in a sort of way like it is a old-style paper posting on a telephone pole. It definitely can capture your attention, and any visual exhibits are more prominent. You don’t need to “click to enlarge”. But I think the WordPress crew has to work on it a bit.
The Holy Grail is to get audio and visual mixed with text, and be able to present either short, or long, text entries. And to have recent stuff somewhat float along side the content that is moments-fresh. We’ll leave three dimensionalism out of it for now, but I think that has got to be incorporated somehow.
The internet blurs boundaries, so obviously the successful programming will be one that allows you to do this to the extent you need to commingle video and text, or a series of postings that doesn’t look like a collage.