Akram's Ideas

Crushing on Tumblr

Founded in 2007 by David Karp, Tumblr has grown to host over 140 million blogs and 63 billion posts in 13 languages. But what exactly is Tumblr?  According to their about pages 

Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything.
Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos from your browser, phone, desktop, email or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors to your theme’s HTML.

Okay so Tumblr is a blog or is it a social network? Actually both. Tumblr has a social element that allows for followers, commenting capabilities and even the ability to message other authors. On the blog side Tumblr allows you to create posts, like most blogs that appear in reverse chronological order, you even can customize the look and feel of your Tumblr blog. 

So, Tumblr is easy to use, it’s a cross between social media and blogging, but with Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and so many other applications out there, why would someone want to make a Tumblr blog? This was in fact my question, especially since my sister @TheChicGirl is so fond of it and is always telling me what she’s found on Tumblr. 

First off the demographics of Tumblr users are much younger than other platforms, with 46% of them being between 16-24 years old. There is a really interesting info graphic about Tumblr online that give a bit more insight on the users behaviors, for example between 25% and 35% of users will share pictures, posts and videos from brands. What does this mean? From a marketing standpoint a brand has the opportunity to reach a large market just with users sharing the information, and if your brand is targeted at a younger demographic, it seems like Tumblr is the place to get noticed. 

Tumblr Infographic 2013 by Global Web Index
Tumblr Infographic 2013 by Global Web Index

It’s also important to note that Tumblr shouldn’t be used the same way you would use other blogging platforms like WordPress or Blogger. According to Elite Strategies CEO Patrick Coombe, in a article he wrote for his blog , Tumblr is  “kind of a hybrid individual crossbred somewhere between an Instagram user and a freelance blogger.”

Like traditional blogs posts on Tumblr should be relevant and frequent, but it’s more visual kind of like Instagram, but slightly different. Instead of sharing photos you took or of you, like Instragram is known for, Tumblr allows you to share any kind of photo, even reblog photos from other users. With this type of posting it’s know wonder that the most popular tags on Tumblr are #GIF, #LOL , #Fashion , #Art , and #Vintage . This is very interesting to me personally because I’m really big in vintage stuff now, so I guess there might be some content on Tumblr that might even interest me.

Recently there has been a lot of news surrounding Tumblr with Yahoo! purchasing it a few month ago. At first this seems like yet another last stitch effort for Yahoo! to gain some momentum, and if I were Tumblr, I’d be worried that this would just mark the beginning of its end. However, analysts are saying otherwise, apparently Tumblr has come as far as they could under the supervision of their 26-year-old CEO and Founder, thus perhaps Yahoo! can help take Tumblr to the next level. One thing is for sure Tumblr can help Yahoo! target a younger demographics than they had in the past.

Okay, so Tumblr is for posting visual stories, more than a social post, but a little less than a full-blown blog, the demographics are younger and there’s new moment with the recent buyout. With all this I thought maybe I should try it out, so I logged on and started an account. When you first sign up you have to start following other users, which reminded me of how Pinterest registration is, in fact it almost had an element that kind of felt Pinteresty, but different. I started following some vintage blogs and of course my sister’s Tumblr  itslittlemissliterature.tumblr.com.

Once I had some blogs to follow and I cruised around the site for a bit I thought I’d work on my own Tumblr blog. First off unlike other easy out of the box blog platforms I must say Tumblr is great! Why because not only can you choose from a variety of built-in themes but you can fully customize the site by editing the Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) yourself. This meant that I could edit the CSS to look exactly like my Akram’s Ideas site, which is exactly what I did. 

Here's a screenshot of my Tumblr blog, looks a lot like my site, right?
Here’s a screenshot of my Tumblr blog, looks a lot like my site, right?

Once I had a Tumblr blog up, I was like what will I do with it? This is a dilemma I can see many bloggers having. You want to reach a new market but you don’t just want to forward information from your other networks. It might sound like a good idea to just repost your Blog posts to Twitter  to Facebook to Tumblr, but no it’s not. Today it’s common for followers/fans to follow all your networks, so if  you just forward the same message, it starts to feel like spam. Instead you need to kind of break it up,  some information can be the same, for example directing everyone to your blog for updates, but each network should cater to the users of that network and give a little some thing different. 

My Tumblr blog was somehow going to be different, but how? I thought about it a long time then I remembered that one of my favorite food bloggers How Sweet It Is has a weekly blog category called “Currently Crushing on” where she writes a post about things that she’s really like or is into at the moment. I’ve become very fond of these weekly posts, and thought that this type of post would be perfect for my Tumblr blog. Instead of long drawn out post, I could post a quick picture and a few notes about why I’m liking something. So my Tumblr blog is my “Currently Crushing on” blog. Sort of a supplement to my official Akram’s Ideas websites.

So to wrap it all up, why should you check out Tumblr? Well, as a user it has some good blogs that are very visual and artsy. I like the food and vintage blogs personally, but there is also a lot of funny stuff and if you have some time to waste you could potentially get lost in all the content. From a marketing stand point, in a recent article by Forbes staff writer Eric Savitz best describes why a brand should use Tumblr by saying

Facebook connects people with friends and family. Twitter shows everyone what’s happening now. LinkedIn helps people engage with colleagues and professional acquaintances. Tumblr harnesses the enthusiasm around a particular topic and coalesces into a community.

Anyways, I’m “Currently Crushing On” Tumblr and you should totally check it out, or at the very least check out my Tumblr blog at http://akramsideas.tumblr.com/

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

Follow @akramsideas

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