Launched in 2007, Tumblr is the fastest growing, free blogging platform and social networking site that allows registered bloggers to post text and multimedia content (including music, videos, photos, etc.) in blog form, also known as a “tumblelog”. Bloggers can customize their Tumblr page for a more unique feel, follow blogs, interact with other bloggers, connect with other social media outlets, access third-party apps, or keep their blogs private. Today, Tumblr has over 57 million blogs with over 24 billion posts. It’s definitely a blogging atmosphere worth learning about!
In her new book, Tumblr for Dummies, Sue Jenkins shares why so many bloggers and businesses are utilizing Tumblr, why it’s so easy to use, and the benefit of choosing Tumblr over other blogging websites. She writes about the basics of the Tumblr enterprise, how to create and customize a website that stands above others, how to follow and network with other bloggers, and how to use Tumblr on your smartphone. The book is designed to serve as a personal guide or reference book for any Tumblr user. New Tumblr users may want to read the book in its entirety whereas experienced users may want to jump ahead and learn more about a particular topic.
Setting up your Tumblr account and specifying your account settings and preferences is quick and painless. Users can customize their Tumblr page by selecting a theme, free or paid, adding a blog title and description, choosing your blog layout, creating additional blog pages, and fashioning a distinguishing appearance from all other Tumblr blogs. Users can change color schemes and typography options and also incorporate their other social media accounts.
Tumblr allows for seven different kinds of posts to be created – text, photos, quotes, links, chats, and audio and video files. Jenkins provides instructions on how to publish each type of blog post along with the general formatting options and how to post original content or collected content from other bloggers. Users can indicate their blog post date and time, specify tags, add custom URLs, insert links and images, check spelling and so much more. Jenkins covers every option available to create your desired type of post and the intended goal for each option presented.
The Tumblr Dashboard is your central command post. The Dashboard menu at the top of the page and the Dashboard Sidebar on the right side of the page is where you log in and out of your account, change your personal settings, create and publish new blogs, edit and delete blogs, view and manage messages, and working with the Queue. All users, businesses and everyday bloggers, need to know how to utilize the Dashboard; learning the Dashboard in its totality will push you one step ahead from all other Tumblr bloggers.
Tumblr is an extremely interactive blogging platform. Users can find other bloggers with similar interests and hobbies, users can follow friends and their blogs, comment on posts, and even us Tumblr to promote your business. Jenkins details how to follow blogs and manage your own blog followers, like other blog posts, reblog another person’s post, and how to share posts through other social media communities. Learn how to ask and answer questions with other bloggers and create your own question for your personal blog or to submit questions to another site. Sending and receiving fan mail is an exclusive feature with Tumblr, and who doesn’t love fan mail?
Jenkins teaches users how to search for other blogs and find other blogs. Users can search by related tags to posts, search sites by categories or interests (politics, education, sports, hobbies, etc.), by a person’s name, or simply by using a keyword. Users can use Tumblr Goodies to blog from their phone, link to their other social media accounts, and create and post audio from your phone. There are many different fun and unique ways to search other blogs and get active with the Tumblr community. Be careful though, this can become addicting!
Your Tumblr theme and background is really your key to making your blog unique. It’s what initially tells readers what your blog is all about. It tells about your personality and it primarily attracts readers and gets them interested in your blog. Tumblr does offer a multitude of themes, some free and some for a fee. Jenkins describes how to find and preview themes and even how to make minor modifications for a more personal touch. She also touches a bit on HTML and CSS codes for the professional or more experienced users. And if you’re bold enough, you can also explore how to create your own theme.
There are also Third-Party apps created for Tumblr users to enhance their blogging experience, add additional features, or link other social media networking accounts. These apps come in forms such as plugins, add-ons, extensions, and individual programs. Jenkins lists 10 of the best and most popular apps used in the Tumblr platform – HelloTxt, Ping.fm, Blip.fm, TumblrStats, Zemanta, Missing e, LinkWithin Related Posts, Tumblr Tag Clouds, Pikchur, and Postling.
The book is written in a candid and upfront manner and is guaranteed to teach you everything you need and can learn about Tumblr. Jenkins provides screenshots for visual references and special icons throughout the book with her personal insight to help readers better appreciate the Tumblr experience. There are designated icons for tips, warnings, technical stuff, and reminders. She also provides typographic rules in the book to better understand the technical aspects of the site. This book is a must-have for any new Tumblr user and is a useful tool for any experienced users wanting to dig deeper and employ the Tumblr website to its fullest potential.