charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
[personal profile] elena informed me that Six Apart has released Typepad Micro, which is basically a Tumblr knock-off plus native commenting.

This is met with some snark:

An employee of Six Apart's main rival, Automattic, talks about it:

"The biggest lesson learned from P2 is that if you are looking for “micro” style content, you must put a content add page in the reading page: just like Twitter, Tumblr, and P2 do." (P2 is a Wordpress 'microblog' style layout)
An interesting assertion is made: eventually, users will demand reblogging EVERYWHERE, including in regular Typepad and Wordpress. Also some interesting comments on the "veil" of Tumblr; I have to say, you CANNOT understand Tumblr's appeal without going "behind the veil" and seeing it from the perspective of a logged in user.

It's an open question whether this will work: it's supposed to be free because the objective is to promote the Typepad platform. Yet, will people still want to pay for Typepad when they can use for free? Or Tumblr for free? Do people who microblog even want to do regular type blogging and thus become Typepad customers? (I think what we're seeing is the casual/personal component of blogging basically leaving for microblogs and Twitter)

Anyway, I have a post brewing on Tumblr's discovery features and promotion. (BTW, how many of you use Tumblr?)
charmian: a snowy owl (Default)
Not as many people are interested in Tumblr, I noticed in the poll. However, I think er, that Tumblr is quite fascinating. In this tough economic climate, the site's continuing to become more popular, especially at a time where social networking sites are becoming more popular, while other types of social media are stagnating or declining. Why is this so? I think it's because of its simplicity and immediacy. I should note that Tumblr is in essence a cross between Wordpress Lite (but unlike, you can do whatever you want with your layouts: own stylesheet? Sure! Javascript? Ok!. You can just get in there and start mucking with the HTML) and Twitter, but with even more multimedia friendliness.

It seems that the blogging-social media landscape is becoming "verticalized," meaning that it's being broken up into niches. In this entry on the evolution of personal publishing, there's an interesting chart which posits that microblogs exist kind of between blogging and social networking on the axes of corporate<--->social and heavy<--->light. I'm not sure "corporate" is the best word here; perhaps "broadcast" works better. Anyway, Tumblr, and other microblogs, seem to have scratched an itch, as this blogger says. (This post is well worth reading, as it talks about the history of blogging, and Wordpress vs. Tumblr) [It mentions Posterous also, but doesn't talk about it as much.]

Here's an interesting comment that talks about microblogs as well.

Another factor in Tumblr's success is its encouragement of interactivity. How can it do this without commenting? Likes and Reblogs are how it's done at Tumblr. While this means that Tumblr is not a big discussion site, perhaps, I think the users do find it valuable. It made me think of this post about the three 'classes' of social media: creators, curators, and consumers.

(Quick summary: The article comes from an advertising business model perspective, BTW. Creators seek (positive) feedback, so you had better create means of encouraging that, such as highlighting them, creating leaderboards, etc. Consumers need help discovering content they are interested in, so you had better create those means of discovery, such as search engine optimization, social link sharing optimization, and once they are within the site, stuff like 'related content,' 'most popular content', etc. Curators are the ones who filter and collate, "editing" the site, and they require 'frictionless' (that is, streamlined and easy) ways of giving feedback, adjacent to the content.)

Tumblr, it seems to me, is especially effective at curating. You can of course create things, but a lot of it is like scrapbooking: collecting things of interest to you, and finding them and reblogging.

May 2014

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