Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Tumblr makes blogging with multimedia easy

Tumblr, founded by David Karp in 2007, is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. The average Tumblr user “creates 14 original posts each month, and reblogs 3,” quotes the website. “Half of those posts are photos. The rest are split between text, links, quotes, music, and video.” Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. The service is promoted to be extremely easy to manage.

Once an account is made, the homepage of the website becomes what is termed a “dashboard.” Any person you follow and any post you reblog appear on this page for your viewing pleasure. There is a separate page for media that is “liked” (which is possible by clicking a heart-shaped icon by the post, reminiscent of AOL’s “favoriting” system), as well as a page solely dedicated to the posts you choose to reblog.

The idea of a built-in reblogging option is unique to Tumblr. It encourages users of the site to essentially “borrow” content from other posters. Rather than cheapening one’s blog, it ends up serving the purpose of increasing the sense of community on the site.

Along with the ease of reblogging to your tastes, there are different layout interfaces to choose from in order to have your profile reflect your aesthetic. Layouts range from the free and basic to the complicated and pricey (highest priced at $49). Like many blogging websites, Tumblr’s interface is customizable to your liking. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy to upload your own background, as it is onTwitter.

Before signing up, Tumblr’s main page invites  hopefuls to view “30 reasons you’ll love Tumblr,” in order to entice them into taking part of this growing phenomenon. What did they decide  would have you loving Tumblr enough to add it to your bookmarks toolbar? Besides the vast multitude of themes and ease of functionality of the website, this list boasts “mobileability,” which is having the ability, “in addition to offering the best iPhone publishing app in existence (for free),” to email or text posts from any mobile phone.

In addition to those alluring features, there are also the options of having a custom domain name and high-resolution photography at your fingertips. The ability to hook into any other existing social networking site and post simultaneous entries serves the rather fun need to  annoy your friends by announcing your every, single move on the internet. Multiple people can post to one blog, and posts can be qeued and timed in accordance to when you want them to be seen by the public.  Finally—the whole service is free (besides the layouts). You don’t have to pay a single penny for hosting fees.

The only real downside of Tumblr is its frequent server crashes. Just when you’re ready to spend countless hours perusing the website, procrastinating like you have a ten page paper due in the morning, you receive the message: “We’ll be back shortly.” There is more demand for the supply; servers are overloaded by the amount of users, which have grown exponentially over time.

With a whopping eighteen employees at their New York headquarters, it’s unsurprising to see these crashes occurring so frequently. Hopefully, in the future, the Tumblr team will increase the manpower backing their microblogging platform.

Alicia LaRosa can be reached at [email protected].

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